Review Articles

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  • Transient directing groups enable selective metal-catalysed C–H functionalization reactions to give diverse products. These directing groups form and dissociate in situ, such that their use is an efficient route to complex organics, examples of which are summarized in this Review.

    • Nupur Goswami
    • Trisha Bhattacharya
    • Debabrata Maiti
    Review Article
  • Lipid membranes were likely critical in the transition from matter to life and are key to the bottom-up development of artificial cells. This Review highlights prebiotic, synthetic and biochemical strategies to construct lipid membranes that facilitate life-like cellular functions.

    • Kira A. Podolsky
    • Neal K. Devaraj
    Review Article
  • Late-stage C–H functionalization of complex molecules has emerged as a powerful tool in drug discovery. This Review classifies significant examples by reaction manifold and assesses the benefits and challenges of each approach. Avenues for future improvements of this fast-expanding field are proposed.

    • Lucas Guillemard
    • Nikolaos Kaplaneris
    • Magnus J. Johansson
    Review Article
  • Enantioselective transition-metal-catalysed nitrene transfer is a powerful approach to access valuable amines. This Review describes recent catalyst designs for asymmetric aziridinations of C=C groups and aminations of C–H bonds.

    • Minsoo Ju
    • Jennifer M. Schomaker
    Review Article
  • What do a rock in a river, a red blood cell in our body and the electrodes inside a car battery have in common? Charged surfaces in contact with water. Although a unified approach to study such a variety of systems is not available yet, the current understanding — even with its limitations — paves the road to the development of new concepts and techniques.

    • Grazia Gonella
    • Ellen H. G. Backus
    • Mischa Bonn
    Review Article
  • State-of-the-art synthetic methods regularly encounter challenges associated with cost, safety and/or efficiency when proposed for large-scale applications. This Review highlights recent applications of novel reactions/technologies (e.g. photoredox, electrochemistry, C–H activation, reductive coupling and flow chemistry) on the process scale.

    • Kaitlyn Lovato
    • Patrick S. Fier
    • Kevin M. Maloney
    Review Article
  • Radical philicity — the ability of a radical to act as a nucleophile or an electrophile — is an important, yet often poorly understood, concept. In this Review, we present a qualitative method to understand and predict radical philicity by classifying the typical reactivity of more than 30 types of radicals into nucleophilic or electrophilic behaviour.

    • Faeze Parsaee
    • Milinda C. Senarathna
    • Eric R. Welin
    Review Article
  • Radical-pairing interactions were, until recently, considered something of a chemical curiosity. But these weak interactions, on par with hydrogen bonds, are easily switched on and off and, as a result, have become widely exploited in supramolecular chemistry, particularly in the assembly of out-of-equilibrium structures.

    • Kang Cai
    • Long Zhang
    • J. Fraser Stoddart
    Review Article
  • Charge-separated organic molecules find diverse applications as functional materials. This Review describes zwitterionicity as a general design principle for ‘smart’ coordination chemistry and the activation of strong bonds.

    • Dominik Munz
    • Karsten Meyer
    Review Article
  • Dual-locked optical probes change their optical signals when they respond to two biomarkers of interest. This facilitates real-time imaging of multiple interrelated biomarkers in living systems and, thus, provides opportunities to better understand pathological events and enhanced diagnostic specificity.

    • Luling Wu
    • Jiaguo Huang
    • Tony D. James
    Review Article
  • Machine learning is starting to reshape our approaches to excited-state simulations by accelerating and improving or even completely bypassing traditional theoretical methods. It holds big promises for taking the optoelectronic materials design to a new level.

    • Pavlo O. Dral
    • Mario Barbatti
    Review Article
  • The recent COVID-19 pandemic and continued use of chemical weapons worldwide demonstrate the risks posed by biological and chemical threats. This Review highlights the importance of functionalized fabrics and surfaces to combat these threats and the progress made in their preparation.

    • Christia R. Jabbour
    • Luke A. Parker
    • Bert M. Weckhuysen
    Review Article
  • Developments in synthetic chemistry are increasingly driven by attempts to improve both selectivity and sustainability. This Review highlights the versatility of bifunctional reagents in generating chemical complexity with enhanced atom-economy-leveraging radical reactions, C–H functionalizations, cross-couplings, organocatalysed processes and cyclizations.

    • Huan-Ming Huang
    • Peter Bellotti
    • Frank Glorius
    Review Article
  • Photocatalysis is widely used in numerous fields, including chemistry and biology. This Review highlights the impact of photosensitization and photoredox photocatalysis within therapeutic development, bioconjugation and for probing complex cellular environments.

    • Keun Ah Ryu
    • Christina M. Kaszuba
    • Olugbeminiyi O. Fadeyi
    Review Article
  • Following a progression from quantum mechanics to modern data-driven methods, this Review presents the methodological spectrum of modelling organic reactions.

    • Kjell Jorner
    • Anna Tomberg
    • Per-Ola Norrby
    Review Article
  • DNA nanostructures are increasingly used in biological applications, in which nuclease resistance is a key parameter. This Review discusses the different strategies used to modulate and evaluate the nuclease resistance of DNA nanostructures.

    • Arun Richard Chandrasekaran
    Review Article
  • Biological processes can be monitored in real time using induced volatolomics, whereby metabolism of an exogenous probe affords volatiles diagnostic of healthy functioning or pathogens.

    • Fabiola Djago
    • Justin Lange
    • Pauline Poinot
    Review Article