News & Comment

  • Research Highlight |

    Silicon and germanium are predicted to form stable planar pentacoordinate species when inside a ring of five donor atoms.

    • David Schilter
  • Research Highlight |

    Using a small organic cage structure as a node has enabled the preparation of a new 3D covalent organic framework.

    • Stephen G. Davey
  • Research Highlight |

    Exact solution to the Schrödinger equation for multiple electron systems typically comes at high computational cost. PauliNet uses deep learning quantum Monte Carlo to find multidimensional wavefunctions that describe molecules with up to 30 electrons.

    • Gabriella Graziano
  • Research Highlight |

    Single-molecule conductance measurements enable different conformers of cyclohexane to be observed at room temperature.

    • Stephen G. Davey
  • Research Highlight |

    Spectroscopy reveals the speciation of a merocyanine photoacid that serves as a light-sensitive pH switch.

    • David Schilter
  • Research Highlight |

    The formation of nanobubbles can limit the efficiency of nanoelectrodes. Molecular simulations can provide important physical insights on the nanobubble nucleation process that results in the current insensitivity to applied potential.

    • Gabriella Graziano
  • Research Highlight |

    Two templates can stack together to enable the formation of a large macrocycle, providing they bind cooperatively to the target. The approach may enable the synthesis of very large macrocycles using relatively simple templates.

    • Stephen G. Davey
  • Research Highlight |

    The fast and non-adiabatic nature of photoinduced isomerization reactions makes it difficult to pin down their mechanisms. Time-resolved photoelectron spectroscopy using high energy photons and simulations can elucidate the mechanism of the ultrafast ring opening of thiophenone molecules in the gas phase.

    • Gabriella Graziano
  • Comment |

    As the world erupts with demands for racial justice, the chemistry community has the obligation, opportunity and momentum to drive for diversity and inclusion in the sciences. Efforts towards that end must begin by allocating opportunities for success on the basis of potential, not privilege, and follow through by soliciting and acting upon feedback from the scholars we have recruited.

    • Brea A. Manuel
    •  & Diane B. Karloff
  • Research Highlight |

    Vibronic coherences can guide a synthetic control of the lifetime of the excited states in iron(ii)-based complexes.

    • Gabriella Graziano
  • Research Highlight |

    Experimental models show that through-space effects dominate over through-bond effects when considering the influence of so-called electron-withdrawing or electron-donating substituents on molecular conformation and reactivity.

    • Stephen G. Davey
  • Research Highlight |

    Abiotic sources of H2 in the lithosphere outweigh the sinks, with the balance potentially being available to a large microbial community.

    • David Schilter
  • Research Highlight |

    Although they are generally poor coupling agents under palladium catalysis, germanes are easily cross-coupled under gold catalysis, enabling a new orthogonal cross-coupling reaction.

    • Stephen G. Davey
  • Research Highlight |

    Despite their similarity with surfactants, the mechanism by which hydrotropes assist in solubilizing apolar molecules in water is not totally understood. A mechanism is now proposed that identifies apolar interactions as driving forces of hydrotropy, in agreement with a statistical thermodynamic picture.

    • Gabriella Graziano
  • Research Highlight |

    One can combine two distinct chain-transfer agents to tune the dispersity of vinyl polymers. The polymer chains remain living and can be transformed into diblock copolymers.

    • David Schilter
  • Research Highlight |

    An unexpected epoxide deoxygenation reaction was observed to occur with inversion of stereochemistry and has enabled development of a method for alkene isomerization.

    • Stephen G. Davey
  • Editorial |

    Sample preparation and instrumentation for macromolecular mass spectrometry continue to evolve, making the technique more relevant than ever.

  • Research Highlight |

    Uncharged polymers on the surface of charged colloidal particles can help to control their self-assembly into ordered structures.

    • Gabriella Graziano
  • Research Highlight |

    A persistent silylene complex of CO is reminiscent of metal carbonyls and features interesting bonding interactions.

    • David Schilter
  • Books & Arts |

    A new book by Peter Wothers delves into the tumultuous history of naming (and symbolizing) the elements.

    • Brett F. Thornton
  • Research Highlight |

    Anions can act as efficient templates for the formation of macrocyclic peptides.

    • Stephen G. Davey
  • Books & Arts |

    An autobiography by Martin Karplus, from his childhood and continuing right through to a journey to Stockholm to receive the 2013 Nobel prize.

    • Alfred C. Chin
  • Research Highlight |

    Machine learning approaches that attempt to predict the outcome of organic reactions are often complex or highly specialized. A new approach requires the molecular structure of reactants as the only input to predict products, enantioselectivities and yields.

    • Gabriella Graziano
  • Research Highlight |

    Ethylene is a plant hormone that has proved difficult to measure. A new catalytic chemiresistor senses ethylene in the parts per billion regime and can monitor plant senescence.

    • David Schilter
  • Research Highlight |

    A rod-shaped molecular motor constructed from DNA rolls in a straight line across an RNA-functionalized surface.

    • Stephen G. Davey
  • Research Highlight |

    Decoherence in quantum systems compromises the quantum information processing. However, in molecular systems, coherence is not completely lost and residual coherence can provide important information to guide the design of efficient molecular qubits.

    • Gabriella Graziano
  • Research Highlight |

    Air-stable nickel precatalysts enable one to rapidly screen ligands, organic substrates and conditions in an accessible and scalable fashion. The best method can be identified and translated to an industrial setting.

    • David Schilter
  • Research Highlight |

    A spray reactor system that recycles solvent enables green and rapid synthesis in high yield, at a production rate on the order of multiple grams per hour.

    • Stephen G. Davey
  • Research Highlight |

    Atomistic simulations reveal details on phase transition and lateral organization of domains in model cellular membranes.

    • Gabriella Graziano
  • Research Highlight |

    Copper efflux oxidase is a special oxygen reduction electrocatalyst with five copper binding sites. Mutations at the fifth site can give highly active variants and tell us which factors are important for catalysis.

    • David Schilter
  • Research Highlight |

    The complete biosynthetic pathway of the anticancer drug etoposide has been engineered into a tobacco plant enabling its direct milligram scale production.

    • Stephen G. Davey
  • Research Highlight |

    Real-space imaging reveals how thin layers of ice grow. Although the basal structure of bulk ice is still observed in 2D ice, the edges exhibit different molecular arrangements.

    • Gabriella Graziano
  • Research Highlight |

    Covalent bond formation has been observed in real time in the dicyanoaurate anion trimer using a Raman spectroscopy technique. Studying the molecular vibrations in the terahertz region has enabled the proposal of a new reaction mechanism.

    • Margherita Citroni
  • Research Highlight |

    Membranes formed from amphiphiles have been found to be more stable to possible prebiotic conditions — in terms of heat, pH and ionic strength — when formed from mixtures of components.

    • Andrew Bissette
  • Research Highlight |

    There are many formally copper(iii) complexes, but X-ray spectroscopy and theory now reveal that they often feature strong covalence and physical oxidation states lower than +iii.

    • Adam Weingarten
  • Research Highlight |

    The rate of Berry pseudorotation in iron pentacarbonyl is measured using variable-temperature infrared spectroscopy and spectral simulations.

    • David Schilter
  • Research Highlight |

    An elusive and highly reactive intermediate has been prepared and characterized, ultimately leading to the synthesis of ten natural products.

    • Stephen G. Davey
  • Research Highlight |

    Pesticides assure control over the disease vectors; however, most pests have developed resistance to the major classes of pesticides. Synergistic approaches in which pesticides are combined with inhibitors of the specific resistance-mediating enzymes have been now identified as promising solutions.

    • Gabriella Graziano
  • Research Highlight |

    Neutral and anionic 20-valence-electron heteroatomic tetrahedra are well known. There now exists a synthetic pathway for isoelectronic cationic derivatives.

    • David Schilter
  • Research Highlight |

    A 13-component molecular system can control two mechanistically distinct reactions in response to a single stimulus.

    • Stephen G. Davey
  • Research Highlight |

    The ability of soft nanoparticles to shrink makes their diffusion in a confined environment faster than that of hard nanoparticles of the same size. The size reduction results from electrostatic interactions between the soft nanoparticle and medium and has important implications for their use as efficient drug carriers.

    • Gabriella Graziano
  • Research Highlight |

    Thin films of hydrogenase enzymes dispersed in a redox-active gel effect rapid anodic oxidation of H2 even in the presence of O2.

    • David Schilter
  • Research Highlight |

    A proton-neutral enantioselective Michael addition reaction has been described in which an aryloxide acts as leaving group, proton shuttle and Lewis base.

    • Stephen G. Davey
  • Editorial |

    Assessing review manuscripts is not the same as assessing research manuscripts, but is just as important in shaping how we understand science.

  • Research Highlight |

    The Lewis acidity of trihaloboranes has now also been observed for tetrahalodiboranes, which bind halides to give hexahalodiborates — a new anion class.

    • Teresa Ortner
  • Research Highlight |

    Models for polyhedral clusters with different symmetries enable us to understand their electronic structures and predict the formation of new clusters.

    • David Schilter
  • Research Highlight |

    Electronic properties in a 2D organic–inorganic perovskite are tuneable by applying pressure. Modest pressures force layers closer together and weaken quantum confinement, reducing the bandgap.

    • Adam Weingarten