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  • Organic–inorganic lead halide perovskites are highly promising materials for solar cell devices, but their widespread commercialization is hindered by their poor environmental stability. Now, porous organic cages are shown to stabilize methylammonium lead iodide films under hot and humid conditions.

    • Victoria Richards
    Research Highlight Open Access
  • Professor Kristin Wustholz answers questions on her scientific career, scientific developments she is excited about and directions the spectroscopy and photochemistry communities should focus on, as well as her experience of being an Editorial Board Member for Communications Chemistry.

    Q&A Open Access
  • The role of selenium in proteins and nucleic acids is well-established, but the pathway for incorporating selenium into small molecules remains unknown. Now, using bioinformatics tools, a selenium-incorporating gene cluster is discovered from immense genomic data, leading to the identification of selenoneine from microorganisms and the elucidation of a selenium incorporation pathway.

    • Huijuan Guo
    Research Highlight Open Access
  • Hear from Professor Nathalie Katsonis on her academic journey and passions, her thoughts on the future directions of chemical research, and her experience of being an Editorial Board Member for Communications Chemistry.

    Q&A Open Access
  • Adiabatic state preparation (ASP) represents an efficient way of generating correlated wave functions on quantum computers for subsequent quantum simulation. Here, the author discusses recent work that numerically studied the performance of ASP on strongly correlated molecules and presented several approaches of improving the quality of prepared ground state wave functions.

    • Libor Veis
    Comment Open Access
  • [n]cycloparaphenylenes feature extensive para-conjugation that leads to useful electronic and optoelectronic properties, but their strained topology prevents their conversion into planar macrocycles. Now, on-surface coupling of cleverly designed precursors affords planar π-extended [12]cycloparaphenylene.

    • Victoria Richards
    Research Highlight Open Access
  • It has been a great joint achievement of astronomy, laboratory spectroscopy and quantum chemistry to identify interstellar molecules in various astronomical environments and piece together their origins story from the fragmented evidence. Here the authors provide a sketch of what we know and motivate the asking of open questions on carbon-based molecules in space.

    • Christopher S. Hansen
    • Els Peeters
    • Timothy W. Schmidt
    Comment Open Access
  • Strong emergence is the main form of emergence that has been defended with respect to chemistry, and in particular molecular structure. Here, the author spells out this form of emergence, proposes new ways in which one can further explore the question of emergence, and explains why investigating emergence should be of interest not only to philosophers but to chemists as well.

    • Vanessa A. Seifert
    Comment Open Access
  • Interfacing ultrasmall metal nanoclusters (NCs) with proteins can present a dual opportunity: proteins can be used for protecting NCs, and the surface ligands of NCs may interact with proteins. Here, the authors identify and discuss remaining open questions surrounding the bio-NC interface that call for future research efforts.

    • Rodolphe Antoine
    • Dusica Maysinger
    • Vlasta Bonačić-Koutecký
    Comment Open Access
  • Tooth enamel possesses outstanding viscoelasticity as well as stiffness — a combination of properties often considered a trade-off. Now, a bi-directional freezing method affords a biomimetic composite with mechanical properties superior to those of enamel.

    • Teresa S. Ortner
    Research Highlight Open Access
  • The cluster approach is a very valuable technique for elucidating reaction mechanisms of enzymes. Here, the authors discuss the current status of this methodology, highlighting its strengths and weaknesses, and argue that it should be the method of choice for investigating enzymatic reaction mechanisms.

    • Fahmi Himo
    • Sam P. de Visser
    Comment Open Access
  • This International Women’s Day, the editors of Communications Chemistry reflect on the responsibilities that journal editors have towards promoting gender equity in STEM, and outline some of the ways in which editors can show up for women in chemistry.

    Editorial Open Access
  • Emerging experimental techniques combined with theoretical advances allow unprecedented studies of the dynamics of gas phase molecules and clusters induced in interactions with photons, electrons, or heavy particles. Here, the authors highlight recent advances, key open questions, and challenges in this field of research with focus on experimental studies of dynamics of ions stored on millisecond timescales and beyond, and its applications in astrochemistry and astronomy.

    • Michael Gatchell
    • Henning Zettergren
    Comment Open Access
  • Electrically conductive two-dimensional metal–organic frameworks have emerged as promising materials for electronic and energy storage devices, but their stacked nature offers limited accessibility to the framework pores. Now, pillaring a conductive 2D MOF is shown to enhance gravimetric capacitance by more than double.

    • Victoria Richards
    Research Highlight Open Access
  • Recent high-pressure studies have uncovered many types of chemical bonds present in noble gas compounds. Here, by extrapolating what has been found so far, the authors discuss which future discoveries can be expected and recommend further avenues of exploration.

    • Maosheng Miao
    • Yuanhui Sun
    • Yanming Ma
    Comment Open Access
  • In-depth understanding of the bonding characteristics of the lanthanide ions in contemporary lanthanide-based materials is mandatory for tailoring their properties for novel applications. Here, the authors elaborate on open questions regarding the bonding situation in mainly molecular lanthanide (4f) compounds, where, as compared to their actinide (5f) analogs in which covalency of the bonds is a common feature, this is still under discussion for the 4f compounds.

    • T. Vitova
    • P. W. Roesky
    • S. Dehnen
    Comment Open Access
  • Most of our knowledge about the chemical composition of the Earth’s interior is primarily retrieved by indirect observations, experiments and calculations that are limited to simple compositions. Here, the authors present the investigation of inclusions trapped in super deep diamonds as an alternative source of a wealth of information on the chemical state of the Earth’s interior through time.

    • Matteo Alvaro
    • Ross John Angel
    • Fabrizio Nestola
    Comment Open Access
  • The Editors and Editorial Board of Communications Chemistry are pleased to launch a 2021 Editors’ Highlights collection featuring some of their favourite Articles published in the journal this year. Here we highlight each Article and outline why it was selected.

    Editorial Open Access
  • Transition metals are increasingly recognized as key drivers in the formation and aging of light-absorbing organic aerosols, known as brown carbon, which impact the energy flux in the atmosphere. Here the authors discuss somewhat overlooked condensed phase chemical processes and identify research needs to improve our fundamental understanding of atmospheric aerosols and ultimately reduce modelling uncertainties of the direct and indirect effects of aerosol particles on the climate.

    • Hind A. Al-Abadleh
    • Sergey A. Nizkorodov
    Comment Open Access
  • The transfer of chiral information from optically pure reaction components to products can generate enantiomerically-enriched molecules, but the control of stereochemistry often proves challenging. Here, the author highlights how our fundamental understanding of stereocontrol has evolved and discusses possible approaches for the rational development of enantioselective catalysts.

    • Jolene P. Reid
    Comment Open Access