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  • Eukaryotic cytochrome P450s (P450s) are often required for the biosynthesis of natural products, but their performance in bacteria is usually reduced. Now, scaffold enzymes bring eukaryotic P450s and a reductase in close proximity for efficient electron channelling, increasing the production of natural products in Escherichia coli.

    • Seon Young Park
    • Hyunmin Eun
    • Sang Yup Lee
  • Allylic amination of unactivated alkenes with aliphatic amines is a long-standing synthetic challenge in organic chemistry. This is now accomplished in an oxidant-free, site-selective process by using a combination of a photocatalyst and cobalt complex for the coupling of olefins and alkyl amines with hydrogen evolution.

    • Shengchun Wang
    • Yiming Gao
    • Aiwen Lei
  • Conversion of CO2 to fuels or chemicals via artificial photosynthesis usually requires the assistance of organic additives or electricity. Now, a biohybrid system is reported consisting of a photocatalyst sheet and bacteria producing acetate and O2 from CO2 and H2O using sunlight as the sole energy input.

    • Qian Wang
    • Shafeer Kalathil
    • Erwin Reisner
  • Alkali metal cations influence electrocatalytic reactions, but their specific role remains elusive. Now, methyl4N+ is established as a vibrational probe for surface-enhanced infrared absorption spectroscopy, revealing that alkali metal cations specifically adsorb on Au during CO2 electroreduction and that their surface coverage depends on their free energy of hydration.

    • Vincent J. Ovalle
    • Yu-Shen Hsu
    • Matthias M. Waegele
  • The deployment of fuel cells demands more efficient electrode–electrolyte interfaces to catalyse the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). A kinetic ORR descriptor is put forward, which is related to the rate of the *O ↔ *OH transition and includes electrolyte effects via the role of non-specifically adsorbed anions.

    • Mingchuan Luo
    • Marc T. M. Koper
    Article Open Access
  • The conversions of methanol or methyl chloride over zeolite catalysts are promising processes to produce valuable hydrocarbons, but their mechanisms are still not fully understood. Now these are evaluated using operando photoelectron photoion coincidence spectroscopy, which enables the direct observation of elusive intermediates such as methyl radicals or ketene.

    • Alessia Cesarini
    • Sharon Mitchell
    • Javier Pérez-Ramírez
    Article Open Access
  • Although pyrene-containing molecules have been studied for their optical properties, the outcome of their incorporation into mechanically interlocked structures remains underexplored. Here, the authors install pyrene units into homo[2]catenanes and investigate the formation of long-lived triplet states, which can be exploited for photocatalysis.

    • Amine Garci
    • Jacob A. Weber
    • J. Fraser Stoddart
  • Cu-based catalysts have dominated CO2 electroreduction as a result of their unique ability to produce C2 or C3 products, while Ni has largely been excluded due to poisoning by intermediate CO. Here, inorganic Ni oxygenate-derived electrocatalysts with polarized Ni𝛿+ sites can produce multicarbon products, including C3 to C6 hydrocarbons.

    • Yansong Zhou
    • Antonio José Martín
    • Boon Siang Yeo
  • Catalysis is a crucial strategy for improving the performance of sulfur cathodes in Li–S batteries, yet few strategies have been established to design effective catalysts. Here, by uncovering a volcano-shaped trend between polysulfide adsorption and catalytic rate in transition-metal-doped ZnS, a highly efficient ternary sulfide is developed.

    • Zihan Shen
    • Xin Jin
    • Huigang Zhang
  • Comprehensive information on enzyme catalytic rates is essential to understand the metabolism of cells, but only a small fraction has been determined experimentally. Now, a deep learning model is developed to predict kcat values of metabolic enzymes on a large scale using substrate SMILES and protein sequence information.

    • Feiran Li
    • Le Yuan
    • Jens Nielsen
    Article Open Access
  • The widespread adoption of fuel cells requires exhaustive screening for highly active and durable Pt-based catalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction. Now a binary descriptor based on experimental parameters extracted from X-ray absorption spectroscopy is used to predict the catalytic activity and stability of a wide range of Pt-alloy catalysts.

    • Jin Huang
    • Luca Sementa
    • Yu Huang
  • Acidic conditions present a solution to carbonate formation in CO2 electrolysis but create a selectivity issue through competing H2 evolution. Here, theoretical methods are used to optimize acidity and select Pd–Cu as a selective electrocatalyst for acidic CO2 reduction with negligible carbonate crossover and high single-pass carbon efficiency.

    • Yi Xie
    • Pengfei Ou
    • Edward H. Sargent
  • The high cost of Pt severely limits fuel cell deployment, but alternative Pt-free catalysts suffer from a low activity and, especially, durability. Now, a low-Pt-content catalyst consisting of Pt and Fe single atoms, dispersed on a nitrogen-doped carbon matrix, and Pt–Fe nanoparticles is shown to exhibit excellent activity and durability in fuel cells.

    • Fei Xiao
    • Qi Wang
    • Minhua Shao
    Article Open Access
  • Olefin metathesis is a powerful synthetic method that largely rests on the reactivity of molybdenum- and ruthenium-based catalysts, as alternative metals have not yet been successfully substituted. Here the authors engineer an iron catalyst to effectively perform the stereoselective ring-opening metathesis polymerization of norbornene.

    • Satoshi Takebayashi
    • Mark A. Iron
    • David Milstein
  • Hybrid 2D/3D ring systems have emerged as important scaffolds in medicinal chemistry, but efficient protocols for their synthesis are scarce. Now, energy-transfer-mediated cascade dearomative [2 + 2] cycloaddition/rearrangement reactions are developed to provide facile access to pyridine-fused 2D/3D ring systems.

    • Jiajia Ma
    • Shuming Chen
    • Frank Glorius
    Article Open Access
  • Heterogenized molecular catalysts are often assumed to operate via analogous mechanisms to their homogeneous counterparts. Here, the authors demonstrate that a tethered cobalt porphyrin exhibits either molecule-like or metal-like behaviour depending on the strength of adsorption between the molecule and the electrode surface.

    • Corey J. Kaminsky
    • Sophia Weng
    • Yogesh Surendranath
  • Molecularly well-defined single-site catalysts are very promising from an atom utilization perspective, as well as for a potential fine-tuning of the single-site environment. Now, high water oxidation performance is reported on a π-conjugated microporous polymer with single Co sites, which follows an intramolecular hydroxyl nucleophilic attack that promotes O–O formation.

    • Hao Yang
    • Fusheng Li
    • Licheng Sun
    Article Open Access
  • The electrochemical generation of reactive hydrides has the potential to drive the electrification of chemical reactions. Now, a modified electron paramagnetic resonance set-up is put forward to demonstrate the role of Mo3+ hydride in amorphous MoSx to catalyse both the hydrogen evolution reaction and electrochemical NADH regeneration.

    • Jeremy A. Bau
    • Abdul-Hamid Emwas
    • Magnus Rueping