Browse Articles

  • Review Article |

    Femtosecond spectroscopy of photosynthetic systems reveals long-lived quantum coherences. This Review focuses on efforts to understand the microscopic origins of these signals and discusses how such coherences may be exploited to probe design principles of photosynthetic light harvesting.

    • Lili Wang
    • , Marco A. Allodi
    •  & Gregory S. Engel
  • Review Article |

    Electrosynthesis is a practical and green route to hydrogen peroxide, and could reduce our dependence on less environmentally friendly oxidants. This Review describes catalyst and reactor designs for highly selective hydrogen peroxide electrosynthesis.

    • Samuel C. Perry
    • , Dhananjai Pangotra
    • , Luciana Vieira
    • , Lénárd-István Csepei
    • , Volker Sieber
    • , Ling Wang
    • , Carlos Ponce de León
    •  & Frank C. Walsh
  • Research Highlight |

    The presence of water on the moon is now certain, less so its origin. New experimental findings support the idea of water being released from protonated lunar silicates due to heating from micro-meteorite impacts.

    • Tom Henshall
  • Research Highlight |

    One can now prepare tertiary amides directly from CO and a tertiary amine by means of an atom-economical Fe-catalyzed reaction.

    • David Schilter
  • Review Article |

    Senescence is a state of permanent cell cycle arrest. This Review highlights the chemical characteristics of senescence and how we can use small molecules to target, detect or eliminate senescent cells, as well as to induce or inhibit senescence.

    • Beatriz Lozano-Torres
    • , Alejandra Estepa-Fernández
    • , Miguel Rovira
    • , Mar Orzáez
    • , Manuel Serrano
    • , Ramón Martínez-Máñez
    •  & Félix Sancenón
  • Review Article |

    Natural product biosynthetic pathways are rich in novel enzymology, but identifying the enzymes that perform new transformations remains challenging. This Review describes recently characterized examples of remarkable chemistries catalysed by biosynthetic enzymes and explores the extent of enzymatic novelty that awaits discovery.

    • Thomas A. Scott
    •  & Jörn Piel
  • Research Highlight |

    The aroma profile of dark chocolate has been elucidated and could be used as a benchmark to study the effect of changes in recipe, processing and storage conditions on its flavour.

    • Eleni Routoula
  • Research Highlight |

    All organisms have developed vital sensory processes that enable prompt reactions in response to external environmental changes. Su and co-workers propose a bioinspired thermoresponsive device made of solid-state nanochannels that induce thermally selective ion transport.

    • Gabriella Graziano
  • Research Highlight |

    A potential new source of hydroxyl radicals – that mediate the reactions of organic aerosols in the atmosphere – has been identified.

    • Claire Ashworth
  • Review Article |

    FoF1-ATPase is a vital molecular machine in organisms responsible for the catalytic synthesis of the basic energy unit ATP. In this Review, the development of FoF1-ATPase reconstitution into artificial architectures is discussed ultimately leading to the development of stimuli-responsive ATP synthesis.

    • Yi Jia
    •  & Junbai Li
  • Research Highlight |

    Thermal denaturation of proteins affords species that differ in terms of cofactors and conformations. Ion mobility spectrometry and mass spectrometry can be used to unravel these mixtures and learn the factors stabilizing certain protein forms.

    • David Schilter
  • Feature |

    Academic chemistry is haemorrhaging talented female researchers. However, a barrage of new initiatives aims to stem the flood.

    • Mark Peplow
  • Research Highlight |

    A rapid synthesis of the antibacterial drug linezolid using flow chemistry has been reported that does not require isolation or purification of any intermediates and is completed in seven synthetic steps

    • Stephen G. Davey
  • Perspective |

    Water oxidation catalysts are key components in water-splitting devices that synthesize fuels by using energy, including that from sunlight. This Perspective presents historical developments in molecular water oxidation catalysis, emphasizing studies of ruthenium complexes that have taught us how to design optimal catalysts.

    • Roc Matheu
    • , Pablo Garrido-Barros
    • , Marcos Gil-Sepulcre
    • , Mehmed Z. Ertem
    • , Xavier Sala
    • , Carolina Gimbert-Suriñach
    •  & Antoni Llobet
  • Review Article |

    3D printing technology emerged as a tool for the design and fabrication of prototypes. Chemists are now using this technology to produce chemically reactive materials. In this Review, Hartings and Ahmed discuss different approaches to 3D print chemically reactive objects.

    • Matthew R. Hartings
    •  & Zeeshan Ahmed
  • Perspective |

    The selective conjugation of two or more molecules is readily achieved using covalent click chemistry or non-covalent click chemistry. The latter approach makes use of complementary molecular recognition partners, and its speed and reversibility are advantageous for many biological applications.

    • Cynthia L. Schreiber
    •  & Bradley D. Smith
  • Research Highlight |

    Analysis of complex mixtures often requires time consuming separation techniques. Mathias Nilsson and co-workers have, now, developed a new approach to dissecting the NMR spectra of unaltered complex mixtures.

    • Gabriella Graziano
  • Review Article |

    This Review highlights recent conceptual and/or technological advances in photoredox catalysis, organic electrosynthesis, electrostatic chemistry and synthesis in static electric fields, mechanochemistry and synthesis in flow.

    • Johnathon C. Robertson
    • , Michelle L. Coote
    •  & Alex C. Bissember
  • Review Article |

    Modelling composite systems with components on different length scales is challenging. However, multiscale models based on quantum and classical descriptions can describe these systems and represent the most effective way to explain and predict light-activated events in such complex systems.

    • Benedetta Mennucci
    •  & Stefano Corni
  • Research Highlight |

    Seven-membered rings are rare motifs in fullerene derivatives. However, these motifs can be stabilized by adjacent five-membered rings and feature in a hydrofullerene isolated from combustion soot.

    • David Schilter
  • Research Highlight |

    A new optical approach has been developed for the generation, manipulation and transportation of floating micro droplets.

    • Gabriella Graziano
  • Review Article |

    Chiral molecules can filter electrons according to their spin. This chiral-induced spin selectivity (CISS) effect can have important applications, such as in spintronics and in enantioseparation. This Review describes the CISS effect, its mechanism and its fascinating applications.

    • Ron Naaman
    • , Yossi Paltiel
    •  & David H. Waldeck
  • Review Article |

    Selective binding of multiple guests within cages could lead to new applications in catalysis and sensing. This Review discusses the design of synthetic cages with the aim of developing and controlling guest–guest chemistry.

    • Felix J. Rizzuto
    • , Larissa K. S. von Krbek
    •  & Jonathan R. Nitschke
  • Review Article |

    Ethanol has emerged as a potential alternative feedstock for the synthesis of middle-distillate transportation fuels. This Review describes the chemistry of ethanol-to-distillate processes and challenges associated with improving current technologies and implementing new ones.

    • Nathaniel M. Eagan
    • , Mrunmayi D. Kumbhalkar
    • , J. Scott Buchanan
    • , James A. Dumesic
    •  & George W. Huber
  • Research Highlight |

    A biomimetic total synthesis of (–)-oxycodone relies on an electrochemically mediated coupling of two oxygenated aryl rings for a key bond formation.

    • Stephen G. Davey
  • Research Highlight |

    Formylglycine residues are important functional handles on native and synthetic proteins. The formation of these residues is mediated by a copper enzyme operating via a superoxo intermediate.

    • David Schilter
  • In the Classroom |

    Creating exam questions is a skill. Understanding the anatomy of a question can help teachers write good questions and help students maximize their score.

    • Kristy Turner
  • Review Article |

    A quasi-liquid layer on the surface of ice makes it slippery even below the bulk melting temperature. The nature of this premelted layer has long been debated, and this Review gathers experimental and theoretical data and discusses opinions and evidence on premelting at ice surfaces.

    • Ben Slater
    •  & Angelos Michaelides
  • Review Article |

    Over the past 5 years, many novel site-selective protein modification techniques have been reported. Key features of these various strategies as well as prominent examples are discussed in this Review.

    • Emily A. Hoyt
    • , Pedro M. S. D. Cal
    • , Bruno L. Oliveira
    •  & Gonçalo J. L. Bernardes
  • Research Highlight |

    Bacteria sense metal ions using proteins whose interactions with DNA are sensitive to metal ion availability and identity. Less competitive metal ions trigger protein–DNA binding only at high concentrations.

    • David Schilter
  • Review Article |

    The high lithium-ion conductivity and deformability of solid sulfide electrolytes make them key materials in all-solid-state lithium batteries. Liquid-phase reactions are valid and scalable approaches for the preparation of sulfide-based solid electrolytes that overcome the issues of moisture sensitivity and high vapour pressures of sulfur species.

    • Akira Miura
    • , Nataly Carolina Rosero-Navarro
    • , Atsushi Sakuda
    • , Kiyoharu Tadanaga
    • , Nguyen H. H. Phuc
    • , Atsunori Matsuda
    • , Nobuya Machida
    • , Akitoshi Hayashi
    •  & Masahiro Tatsumisago
  • Research Highlight |

    Careful reaction design has enabled the use of single electron transfer reagent samarium diiodide in substoichiometric amounts to catalyse radical cyclizations.

    • Stephen G. Davey
  • Research Highlight |

    X-ray structures of reactant and product states, as well as theoretical calculations, have helped uncover the mechanism of Escherichia coli phosphofructokinase 2.

    • Jordan Hindson
  • Review Article |

    When presented with a light stimulus, heteroaryl azo photoswitches undergo molecular motion that can be harnessed for applications in materials science, catalyst design or drug development, among other fields. This Review describes selected subclasses of these versatile chemical motifs, covering their properties and prominent applications.

    • Stefano Crespi
    • , Nadja A. Simeth
    •  & Burkhard König
  • Review Article |

    SO2 and NO2 are primary causes of air pollution and severe breathing problems worldwide. This Review gives an overview of the recent advances in the use of metal–organic framework materials to capture and remove these toxic gases from air.

    • Xue Han
    • , Sihai Yang
    •  & Martin Schröder
  • Books & Arts |

    A biography of Mendeleev goes well beyond his most famous creation.

    • Kit Chapman
  • Review Article |

    Structurally complex natural products can be efficiently accessed through protecting-group-free (PGF) synthesis. This Review describes recent examples of PGF syntheses of terpenes and alkaloids, showcasing the power and elegance of innovative methods and strategies in natural product synthesis.

    • Chunngai Hui
    • , Fang Chen
    • , Fan Pu
    •  & Jing Xu
  • Research Highlight |

    Dodecaphenylanthracene — a twisted polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon with interesting electrochemical properties — has, after 20 years of trying, finally succumbed to synthesis.

    • Stephen G. Davey
  • Review Article |

    Super-resolution microscopy (SRM) has already proved to be a powerful lens for investigating biosystems. In this Review, the authors show how SRM can be very powerful in the study of synthetic material both in situ and in operando.

    • Silvia Pujals
    • , Natalia Feiner-Gracia
    • , Pietro Delcanale
    • , Ilja Voets
    •  & Lorenzo Albertazzi
  • Research Highlight |

    Discovery of new materials has been traditionally based on a trial-and-error approach. Now, miniaturized nanoreactors have been developed for the synthesis and analysis of nanoparticle megalibraries of different size and composition.

    • Gabriella Graziano
  • Research Highlight |

    Particle swarm optimization allows one to search vast compositional space for new viable species. Additionally, simulating high pressures has enabled the prediction of hypervalent species such as IF8.

    • David Schilter
  • Perspective |

    Automation can help in performing routine tasks quickly and consistently. Algorithms facilitate the searching of current knowledge. Combining the two could lead to a chemically intelligent approach to the discovery of not only new molecules but also novel and unpredictable reactivity.

    • Piotr S. Gromski
    • , Alon B. Henson
    • , Jarosław M. Granda
    •  & Leroy Cronin
  • Perspective |

    This Perspective introduces energy decomposition analysis as a means of providing a quantum chemically derived bonding model that we can use to rationalize molecular geometries and bonding. The model serves as a bridge between the simple Lewis electron-pair bond and the complicated quantum theoretical nature of the chemical bond.

    • Lili Zhao
    • , Markus Hermann
    • , W. H. Eugen Schwarz
    •  & Gernot Frenking
  • Perspective |

    Lewis’ shared electron-pair model was a stroke of genius, describing the structure and reactivity of molecules purely on the basis of his tremendous knowledge of empirical chemistry without any quantum chemistry. Unprecedented in simplicity, its success unfortunately concealed some misleading interpretations of the physical origin of chemical bonding.

    • Lili Zhao
    • , W. H. Eugen Schwarz
    •  & Gernot Frenking
  • Research Highlight |

    Metal–organic frameworks with certain compositions can exist as glasses. Processable materials featuring intrinsic porosity are rare and are expected to be invaluable in chemical separations.

    • Andrew Bissette
  • Research Highlight |

    39Ar is an ideal tracer for radioactive dating in the 50–1000 year range of deep ocean circulations. However, extremely low concentrations of 39Ar in the ocean make the dating process long and costly. Applied quantum technologies can, however, drastically simplify ocean dating procedures.

    • Gabriella Graziano