Reviews & Analysis

Filter by:

  • N-Heterocyclic carbenes are versatile ligands that can be used to modulate the properties of metallic surfaces. This Review focuses on efforts to tune the reactivity of metal-based heterogeneous catalysts by such molecular species, providing an overview of the techniques to study carbene–surface interaction and examples of successful catalytic reactions based on this approach.

    • Maximilian Koy
    • Peter Bellotti
    • Frank Glorius
    Review Article
  • Tuning the selectivity of CO2 electrohydrogenation to value-added products poses a challenge in CO2 mitigation and electrified chemical manufacturing. Now, a strategy to design and synthesize CO2 reduction electrocatalysts highly selective to either CO or CH4 for proton-conducting ceramic electrochemical cells is presented.

    • Chuancheng Duan
    News & Views
  • Highly active, selective and stable catalysts for the hydrogenation of CO2 to methanol are immensely sought after. Now, using a broad range of spectroscopic methods, in-plane double sulfur vacancies of MoS2 sheets have been suggested to catalyse this reaction using an unusual mechanism.

    • Felix Studt
    News & Views
  • Extensive research efforts have been devoted to development of catalytic oxidation manifolds based on molecular oxygen. Now, an unconventional approach for oxygenation of organic sulfides by this abundant oxidant is introduced by merging nickel catalysis with electrochemistry.

    • Andrey Shatskiy
    • Jian-Quan Liu
    • Markus D. Kärkäs
    News & Views
  • Synthetic metabolic pathways that circumvent photorespiration can improve crop growth. Now, an efficient photorespiration bypass with a new-to-nature carboxylation step has been engineered and demonstrated in vitro.

    • Markus Janasch
    • Elton P. Hudson
    News & Views
  • RetroBioCat provides automated solutions for biocatalytic cascade design. The curated open-access tool, developed by researchers in biocatalysis, has the potential to greatly facilitate enzymatic retrosynthesis to target molecules.

    • Dörte Rother
    • Stephan Malzacher
    News & Views
  • Atomically dispersed and nitrogen-coordinated single iron site catalysts hold great promise to replace platinum for proton-exchange membrane fuel cells, but they suffer from significant performance loss. Now, solving the conundrum to distinguish durable and non-durable FeN4 active sites can guide high-performance catalyst design.

    • Shengwen Liu
    • Qiurong Shi
    • Gang Wu
    News & Views
  • Electrochemical CO2 conversion to hydrocarbons has increasingly improved with the development of better catalysts. Now, a copper catalyst modified with a polymer boosts the selectivity for ethylene production to 87%.

    • Enrico Andreoli
    News & Views
  • Despite over a century of research to understand heterogeneous electrocatalysis, the precise mechanisms of action remain poorly understood. Now, it is proposed that the oxygen evolution reaction on IrOx is driven by changes in the redox state of the Ir–O active sites, rather than by changes in the interfacial electric field.

    • Shannon W. Boettcher
    • Yogesh Surendranath
    News & Views
  • Supramolecular hosts can readily self-assemble from simple components and allow remarkable chemical rate enhancements and product selectivity utilising defined microenvironments and specific host–guest interactions. This Review Article describes recent conceptual and catalytic advances made in this field.

    • Mariko Morimoto
    • Stephen M. Bierschenk
    • F. Dean Toste
    Review Article
  • Nickel–iron and cobalt–iron (oxy)hydroxides are state-of-the-art electrocatalysts for oxygen production in alkaline conditions. Now, the addition of high-valent dopants has been demonstrated to further propel the catalytic rate in these materials by an order of magnitude.

    • Michael John Craig
    • Max García-Melchor
    News & Views
  • DNA-based dynamic networks show adaptation to external stimuli toward the generation of the fittest constituent. This selection principle has now been implemented to control the catalytic efficiency of an enzymatic reaction.

    • Lena J. Winat
    • Barbara Saccà
    News & Views
  • Enhancing the oxygen exchange rate at the surface of oxides through rational design has long been a key goal of researchers pursuing sustainable energy solutions. Now, a simple infiltration method reveals that reaction rates on porous mixed-conducting oxides scale with the acidity of the infiltrate and can be tuned by orders of magnitude.

    • Sossina M. Haile
    News & Views
  • The development of feasible routes for the valorization of waste plastics is an urgent challenge to be solved. Now, a strategy is introduced for the selective production of hydrogen-rich gas and multi-walled carbon nanotubes in a single-step process using an FeAlOx catalyst and microwave irradiation.

    • Gartzen Lopez
    • Laura Santamaria
    News & Views
  • Organochlorides are attractive building blocks for photocatalytic synthesis that have been receiving increasing attention lately, thanks to recent methodological advances that overcome their inertness. In this Review Article, Giedyk and colleagues summarise the developments and strategies for their photocatalytic activation.

    • Martyna Cybularczyk-Cecotka
    • Joanna Szczepanik
    • Maciej Giedyk
    Review Article
  • The electro- and photo-catalytic reduction of carbon dioxide are important processes in the context of developing a sustainable carbon-neutral economy. In this Review Article, the authors discuss how the local chemical environment in the proximity of the catalytic active site can influence the reactivity and selectivity of the processes and detail different approaches to achieve their modulation.

    • Andreas Wagner
    • Constantin D. Sahm
    • Erwin Reisner
    Review Article
  • The activity and the stability of an electrocatalyst are equally important, but the reasons behind deactivation processes still remain unresolved. Achieving a deeper understanding of the process will help to inhibit deactivation and improve revivification protocols.

    • Alessandro Minguzzi
    News & Views
  • Peroxygenases are promising enzymes to contribute to more environmentally friendly and sustainable oxidation reactions in industry. This Review Article gives a comprehensive overview about enzymes with peroxygenase activity and strategies to engineer them for desired reactions and enhanced performances.

    • Marie-Cathérine Sigmund
    • Gerrit J. Poelarends
    Review Article
  • Suppressing the degradation of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells due to anode side-reactions during repetitive cell start-up/shut-down remains a formidable challenge. Now, a phase transition material of WO3 has been explored as a smart catalytic switch to enable highly selective electrocatalysis and improve fuel cell longevity.

    • Yifei Sun
    • Shriram Ramanathan
    News & Views
  • Polyketide synthases are multi-domain enzymes that catalyse the construction of many bioactive natural products. Now, some of the inefficiencies and limitations of these systems have been solved by designing an artificial pathway for carbon–carbon bond formation via iterative rounds of non-decarboxylative thio-Claisen reactions.

    • Anuran K. Gayen
    • Lindsay Nichols
    • Gavin J. Williams
    News & Views