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  • While sp2-hybridized carbon atoms in hydrocarbons typically contribute only one electron to their aromaticity, metals have more electrons from d or f orbitals available for participating in conjugation in organometallics, complicating the electron counting as well as analysis of their aromaticity. Here, the author comments on the challenges towards understanding aromaticity in organometallics and outlines several remaining questions that have yet to be answered.

    • Jun Zhu
    CommentOpen Access
  • The chemistry of stable low oxidation state group 2 metal compounds was initiated in 2007 and has since expanded rapidly, yielding many surprises. Here the author outlines advances in the field and discusses some of the open questions and challenges that remain to be answered in coming years.

    • Cameron Jones
    CommentOpen Access
  • Tight regulation of protein levels is so crucial for cellular function that mammalian cells have evolved two parallel degradation systems. This article discusses how these systems can be exploited to selectively target proteins of interest for therapeutic purposes.

    • Mohamed A. Eldeeb
    • Cornelia E. Zorca
    • Thomas Goiran
    CommentOpen Access
  • Controlling molecular conformation through macroscopic mechanical stimulus may have applications in chiroptical devices, but achieving this in a 3D material is challenging. Now, a quantitative relationship between stretching of an elastomer and reversible conformational changes of a crosslinked molecule has been established.

    • Andrew J. Bissette
    Research HighlightOpen Access
  • Polymorphs, crystals with different structure and properties but the same molecular composition, arise from the subtle interplay between thermodynamics and kinetics during crystallisation. In this opinion piece, the authors review the latest developments in the field of polymorphism and discuss standing open questions.

    • Aurora J. Cruz-Cabeza
    • Neil Feeder
    • Roger J. Davey
    CommentOpen Access
  • Organic materials are highly sensitive to electron beam irradiation and thus easily damaged upon imaging by electron microscopy. Now, low-dose aberration-corrected high resolution transmission electron microscopy allows for less invasive near-atomic-scale imaging of a two-dimensional polymer.

    • Victoria Richards
    Research HighlightOpen Access
  • The activation of very inert small molecules generally requires highly reactive activating species, but the high energy of these species makes their regeneration, and thus also catalytic turnover of the reaction, difficult to achieve. Here, the authors highlight the formidable challenge of overcoming the tradeoff between activating power and catalytic turnover in the context of main-group ambiphiles.

    • Rian D. Dewhurst
    • Marc-André Légaré
    • Holger Braunschweig
    CommentOpen Access
  • Chemical reaction networks (CRNs) are prototypical complex systems because reactions are nonlinear and connected in intricate ways, and they are also essential to understand living systems. Here, the author discusses how recent developments in nonequilibrium thermodynamics provide new insight on how CRNs process energy and perform sophisticated tasks, and describes open challenges in the field.

    • Massimiliano Esposito
    CommentOpen Access
  • Today, Communications Chemistry launches a series of Comment articles discussing key open questions in specific fields of fundamental chemical research. Here we outline the aims of this series and highlight each contribution within.

    EditorialOpen Access
  • Over the past decade, momentous progress has been made in the characterization of late actinide compounds. Here the authors highlight how advances in spectroscopic and computational tools have developed our understanding of fundamental transplutonium bonding interactions, and discuss whether covalency and heterogeneity changes in 5f-orbital bonding could be harnessed in environmentally and industrially relevant systems.

    • Korey P. Carter
    • Roger M. Pallares
    • Rebecca J. Abergel
    CommentOpen Access
  • Mass spectrometry allows the pattern of glycosylation in proteins to be mapped, but can be limited by the lability of glycosidic bonds. Now, a method exploiting this lability allows for direct mapping of glycan moieties in glycoproteins.

    • Andrew J. Bissette
    Research HighlightOpen Access
  • Water can form a vast number of topological frameworks owing to its hydrogen-bonding ability, with 19 different forms of ice experimentally confirmed at present. Here, the authors comment on open questions and possible future discoveries, covering negative to ultrahigh pressures.

    • Thomas Loerting
    • Violeta Fuentes-Landete
    • Tobias M. Gasser
    CommentOpen Access
  • Glycans are ubiquitous in biology, but their complex structure and biosynthesis have challenged research of their wide-ranging roles. Here, the authors comment on current trends on the role of chemical methodologies in the field of glycobiology.

    • Mia I. Zol-Hanlon
    • Benjamin Schumann
    CommentOpen Access
  • Airborne particles have significant impacts on health, visibility, and climate. Here, an overview of what is known about particle chemical composition is presented, along with open questions and challenges that are central to relating composition to life cycles and impacts.

    • Barbara J. Finlayson-Pitts
    • Lisa M. Wingen
    • Michael J. Ezell
    CommentOpen Access
  • Aerosols are highly dynamic, non-equilibrium systems exhibiting unique microphysical properties relative to bulk systems. Here the authors discuss the roles aerosols play in (bio)chemical transformations and identify open questions in aerosol-mediated reaction rate accelerations, aerosol optical properties, and microorganism survival.

    • Bryan R. Bzdek
    • Jonathan P. Reid
    • Michael I. Cotterell
    CommentOpen Access
  • Cloud droplets form in the atmosphere on aerosol particles, many of which result from nucleation of vapors. Here the authors comment on current knowledge and open questions regarding the condensational growth of nucleated particles to sizes where they influence cloud formation.

    • Taina Yli-Juuti
    • Claudia Mohr
    • Ilona Riipinen
    CommentOpen Access
  • First-row transition metals play several roles in biological processes and in medicine, but can be toxic in high concentrations. Here the authors comment on the sensitive biochemistry and speciation chemistry of the first-row transition metals, and outline some of the remaining questions that have yet to be answered.

    • Debbie C. Crans
    • Kateryna Kostenkova
    CommentOpen Access