Network and knots interconnecting different catalyst types

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    This series brings together our thematic retro News & Views offerings. These short articles reflect on historical developments in the fields of catalysis and their impact on contemporary research.

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    • A combination of an iron(ii)-catalyst and a hydroxylammonium salt enables the direct and selective conversion of an inert aromatic C–H bond to a valuable, unprotected amine functionality. This approach solves a long standing challenge in modern synthesis.

      • Quoc Hoang Pham
      • Rene M. Koenigs
      News & Views
    • Rational design of improved electrocatalysts requires a profound understanding of the catalyst’s active sites during the reaction. However, molecule conversion occurs on the few-nanometre scale and operando tools for simultaneous nanoscale chemical, electronic and structural investigation are scarce. Now, the geometric and electronic creation and evolution of individual active sites during the hydrogen evolution reaction on MoS2 has been unravelled using electrochemical tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy.

      • Katrin F. Domke
      News & Views
    • The absolute position of band edges is widely considered an indispensable design principle for selection of appropriate semiconductors for a given photo(electro)catalytic reaction. In this Perspective, the authors re-examine this idea from a viewpoint of semiconductor physics and make the case that alignment of band edges with chemical redox potentials is of limited importance.

      • Aaron J. Kaufman
      • Adam C. Nielander
      • Shannon W. Boettcher
      Perspective
    • Platinum-free electrocatalysts for anion exchange membrane fuel cells and water electrolysers are required to improve the techno-economic viability of these electrochemical technologies for the sustainable production and use of hydrogen. Modifying the electronic structure of Li-intercalated layered Mn-oxides via Ru doping resulted in a catalyst displaying impressive performance towards both technologies.

      • Eric Liu
      • Drew Higgins
      News & Views
    • The understanding of protein evolution is a central challenge in biology. Now, the evolution of a β-lactamase in vitro reveals that the total effect of mutations can change the rate-limiting step of the catalytic mechanism.

      • Gina Dotta
      • Alejandro J. Vila
      News & Views

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