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Volume 4 Issue 6, June 2021

Current reconstructions

Electrocatalysts with complex morphologies often exhibit high catalytic performance, in part because of their roughness and larger concentration of sites with high intrinsic activity. However, they typically suffer from low stability and are prone to reconstruct under turnover conditions. Here, Klinkova and co-workers provide an exhaustive investigation on the structural stability of such materials, and conclude that both electrochemical and electrical effects induce atomic migration that result in their morphological transformation.

See Li et al.

Image:Feng Li, University of Waterloo Cover Design: Marina Spence

Volume 4 Issue 6

Research Highlights

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News & Views

  • Electric current is now shown to induce movement of the atoms in electrocatalyst nanoparticles, leading to morphological changes and performance degradation. This electromigration effect needs to be taken into account when designing nanostructured catalysts for electrochemical devices.

    • Pekka Peljo
    • Tanja Kallio
    News & Views
  • Catalysts respond to reactive atmospheres, leading to intrinsically distinct active sites and reaction pathways in response to pressure changes. The degree of pressure gap depends on the nanostructure. Now, the gaps and discrepancies in in-situ and operando studies of CO2-to-CH3OH using CuZn catalysts have been rationalized.

    • Atsushi Urakawa
    News & Views
  • Polyamines are a growing class of medically and agriculturally active biomolecules that have traditionally been difficult to source. Now, a bio-based platform for high-level production of diverse polyamines has been realized, showing the versatility of biocatalysis and the utility of conceptualizing metabolism as distinct modules.

    • Kevin B. Reed
    • Hal S. Alper
    News & Views
  • The design of an original molecular architecture featuring an unusual sterically congested C(sp2)–C(sp3) stereogenic axis with six high rotational barriers results in the formation of six stereoisomers. The configuration of this axis can be controlled by transition metal catalysis and one stereoisomer can be produced selectively.

    • Damien Bonne
    • Jean Rodriguez
    News & Views
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Comment & Opinion

  • Identifying the active sites in supported catalysts comprising isolated metal atoms and subnanometric clusters is challenging because of the difficulty in obtaining detailed structural information under reaction conditions. Here, we discuss the limitations and pitfalls that may be encountered and provide suggestions accordingly.

    • Lichen Liu
    • Avelino Corma
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  • Stereodivergent catalysis was previously limited to two possible states per stereogenic element. Now, it is demonstrated that stereoselective catalysis is capable of governing higher-order stereogenicity and the catalyst-controlled synthesis of four of the six possible stereoisomers arising from a single stereogenic unit is showcased.

    • Xingxing Wu
    • Reto M. Witzig
    • Christof Sparr
  • Single-atom catalysts have become a frontier of heterogeneous catalysis, but to achieve a high stability under turnover is often a challenge. Now, a Pd/CeO2 single-atom catalyst prepared using flame spray pyrolysis is able to stabilize the isolated Pd species during CO oxidation due to a high mobility of surface lattice oxygen.

    • Valery Muravev
    • Giulia Spezzati
    • Emiel J. M. Hensen
  • Supported single-atom catalysts often feature a distinct reactivity when compared to traditional heterogeneous or homogeneous systems. Here the authors introduce a supported iridium single-atom catalyst for carbenoid O–H insertion characterized by a remarkable selectivity for aliphatic versus aromatic alcohols, unlike its homogeneous counterpart.

    • Jie Zhao
    • Shufang Ji
    • F. Dean Toste
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Amendments & Corrections

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