Image: Kristina Chang Data: Andrew Attar Design: Rachael Tremlett

Ultrafast spectroscopy

The ability to produce shorter and shorter X-ray pulses enables electronic and nuclear dynamics to be probed down to the attosecond regime.

Latest Reviews

  • Perspective |

    Ultrafast X-ray spectroscopies enable the investigation of fast chemical dynamics with time resolutions reaching the order of attoseconds. Processes such as spin crossover, structural deformations in excited states and dissociation reactions can now be studied through the use of short X-ray pulses produced by high-harmonic, free-electron-laser and synchrotron sources.

    • Peter M. Kraus
    • , Michael Zürch
    • , Scott K. Cushing
    • , Daniel M. Neumark
    •  & Stephen R. Leone
  • Review Article |

    The union of theory in chemical ecology with modern methods in chemistry has enhanced our understanding of phytochemical variation among and within plants. This Review outlines these theoretical frameworks and approaches for hypothesis testing, with a focus on chemically mediated plant–insect interactions.

    • Lee A. Dyer
    • , Casey S. Philbin
    • , Kaitlin M. Ochsenrider
    • , Lora A. Richards
    • , Tara J. Massad
    • , Angela M. Smilanich
    • , Matthew L. Forister
    • , Thomas L. Parchman
    • , Lanie M. Galland
    • , Paul J. Hurtado
    • , Anne E. Espeset
    • , Andrea E. Glassmire
    • , Joshua G. Harrison
    • , Carmen Mo
    • , Su’ad Yoon
    • , Nicholas A. Pardikes
    • , Nadya D. Muchoney
    • , Joshua P. Jahner
    • , Heather L. Slinn
    • , Oren Shelef
    • , Craig D. Dodson
    • , Massuo J. Kato
    • , Lydia F. Yamaguchi
    •  & Christopher S. Jeffrey
  • Review Article |

    Single-atom catalysts are heterogeneous materials featuring active metals sites atomically dispersed on a surface. This Review describes methods by which we prepare and characterize these materials, as well as how we can tune their catalytic performance in a variety of important reactions.

    • Aiqin Wang
    • , Jun Li
    •  & Tao Zhang
  • Review Article |

    A move away from fossil fuels as an energy source will also require a move to new sources for important chemical feedstocks. This Review considers the use of homogeneous catalysis to convert cellulosics into low-volume, high-value chemicals that are currently derived from crude oil.

    • Trandon A. Bender
    • , Jennifer A. Dabrowski
    •  & Michel R. Gagné
  • Review Article |

    Transition-metal-catalysed hydrosilylation and hydroboration reactions are valuable in the synthesis of commodity and fine chemicals, respectively. This Review describes the catalyst design principles that enable us to perform these reactions using catalysts based on earth-abundant metals. Scenarios in which using earth-abundant metals can offer an advantage over using a precious metal are also outlined.

    • Jennifer V. Obligacion
    •  & Paul J. Chirik

News & Comment

  • Research Highlight |

    Digoxin is a widely used heart drug, but metabolism by bacteria in the human gut leads to variable efficacy. The enzyme responsible has now been identified and characterized.

    • Stephen G. Davey
  • Research Highlight |

    Aquo complexes at salt surfaces feature in important processes such as salt dissolution and water desalination. Scanning tunnelling microscopy and atomic force microscopy have afforded the first real-space data concerning the structures and dynamics of single aquo complexes.

    • David Schilter
  • Research Highlight |

    Controlling shape and size of noble-metal nanocrystals in an automated fashion is highly desirable for large-scale production of nanomaterials. Younan Xia and co-workers propose the design of a device for the automated synthesis of uniform nanocrystals, featuring a droplet reactor, online separation and purification capabilities.

    • Gabriella Graziano
  • Research Highlight |

    This study identifies a human antibody fragment that recognizes i-motifs and shows that these DNA structures are present in the nuclei of human cells.

    • Katharine H Wrighton
  • Research Highlight |

    The archetypal hydride donor for unsaturated organics, LiAlH4, has also been used in catalytic reductions. Indeed, LiAlH4 has now been shown to be a precatalyst for imine hydrogenation under mild conditions.

    • David Schilter
  • Research Highlight |

    The resolution of AFM images is highly sensitive to the atomic composition and structure of the tip. Harry Mönig and co-workers show that an oxygen-terminated copper tip can enable imaging at unprecedented resolution, allowing us to study molecular interactions in exquisite detail.

    • Gabriella Graziano


Electrocatalysis for fuels

David Schilter/Rachael Tremlett

Electrocatalysis for fuels

Efficient redox catalysis offers an important avenue in using renewable energy to process fuels. To this end, efforts in homogeneous, heterogeneous and microbial catalysis may each advance our fundamental understanding and technological capabilities.

David Schilter