Reviews & Analysis

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  • Encoding recognition units into sequence-defined synthetic oligomers enables hybridization into unique assemblies in non-aqueous solutions. In this Review Article, we explore the chemistries that enable production of sequence-selective, duplex-forming oligomers through noncovalent or dynamic covalent bonds.

    • R. Kenton Weigel
    • Adithya Rangamani
    • Christopher A. Alabi
    Review Article
  • Free energy calculations have great potential to accelerate drug discovery projects by predicting relative protein–ligand binding affinities. But how accurate are these predictions and how accurate can they become? A recent report assesses the state of the art in such calculations and compares it to experimental approaches.

    • Christina E. M. Schindler
    • Daniel Kuhn
    • Ingo V. Hartung
    News & Views
  • The history of halogen-containing solid electrolytes is presented, and the advantages of halogen-chemistry for solid electrolytes related to crystal structures, migration pathways and ion transport mechanisms are summarized. Finally, the main challenges and future developments of halogen-containing solid electrolytes are discussed.

    • Bijiao He
    • Fang Zhang
    • Huajun Tian
    Review Article
  • Heterogeneous single-cluster catalysts comprising atomically precise metal clusters stabilized on supports offer exciting prospects for delivering novel reactivity patterns in chemical transformations. This Review examines the progress in controlling cluster environments and understanding the performance of single-cluster catalysts.

    • Xinzhe Li
    • Sharon Mitchell
    • Jiong Lu
    Review Article
  • This Review compares the macrocycle-based host–guest chemistry in solution and in the solid state and illustrates related physical chemistry laws. Recent progress about applications of solid-state host–guest chemistry in the fields of adsorption, separation, optical materials and stimuli-responsive systems is also discussed.

    • Huangtianzhi Zhu
    • Liya Chen
    • Feihe Huang
    Review Article
  • This Review focuses on the inherent advantages of natural resources for room-temperature phosphorescent (RTP) materials, mechanisms and strategies for activating and enhancing the RTP properties of natural resources, as well as the potential applications of these RTP materials.

    • Xiongfei Luo
    • Bing Tian
    • Zhijun Chen
    Review Article
  • Strategies that utilize the oxidation of unactivated C–H bonds are becoming increasingly popular in natural product total synthesis. This Review classifies and highlights the different strategic use-cases of oxidation reactions as they were applied in recent total syntheses.

    • Ian Bakanas
    • Robert F. Lusi
    • Richmond Sarpong
    Review Article
  • The supramolecular self-assembly of lipopeptides is highly dependent on the nature of the hydrophobic tail, the sequence of amino acids and external stimuli, defining their applications in the areas of nanotechnology, medicinal chemistry, biotechnology, biomaterials or catalysis.

    • Cesar Vicente-Garcia
    • Ignacio Colomer
    Review Article
  • Pyramidanes are curious molecules. The tetrahedranes and the [4]–[6]pyramidanes exhibit molecular structures derived from trigonal to hexagonal pyramids. Examples of these pyramidanes are presented and their structural, spectroscopic and chemical features are described.

    • Qiu Sun
    • Christian Mück-Lichtenfeld
    • Gerhard Erker
    Review Article
  • Autocatalytic lipids and their assemblies may have had a special and underappreciated role in the origin of life. This Review discusses how simple lipids can collectively generate fascinating systems-level phenomena and enable functions beyond reproduction, such as selection and soft materials applications.

    • Michael G. Howlett
    • Stephen P. Fletcher
    Review Article
  • Seventy years ago, Stanley L. Miller described the synthesis of amino acids from a simple mixture of gases, spurring investigations into the chemical origins of life. Here we discuss the rise, fall and renaissance of endogenous amino acid production.

    • Kensei Kobayashi
    • Yoko Kebukawa
    News & Views
  • Quantum Monte Carlo methods using neutral-network ansatzes can provide virtually exact solutions to the electronic Schrödinger equations for small systems and are comparable to conventional quantum chemistry methods when investigating systems with dozens of electrons.

    • Jan Hermann
    • James Spencer
    • Frank Noé
    Review Article
  • Polymer backbones and their editing are at the root of polymer function and sustainability. This Review defines the concept of polymer backbone editing, categorizes a century’s worth of research in this area and outlines future directions for this field.

    • Rachael A. J. Ditzler
    • Andrew J. King
    • Aleksandr V. Zhukhovitskiy
    Review Article
  • Hydrogen atom transfer has an expanding role in synthesis, enabling direct C–H functionalization. This Review highlights the state-of-the-art design of phthalimide-N-oxyl catalysts, aiming to stimulate the development of the next generation of efficient and selective catalysts.

    • Cheng Yang
    • Sahil Arora
    • Corey R. J. Stephenson
    Review Article
  • Defect passivation is a key concept for optimizing the performance of perovskite solar cells. This Review summarizes our understanding of defects in perovskites and highlights the most promising strategies and materials used for their passivation.

    • Hong Zhang
    • Lukas Pfeifer
    • Michael Grätzel
    Review Article
  • Late-stage modification of peptides with photoactivatable groups often weakens their binding interaction with target proteins. Now, this challenge has been addressed using large libraries of cyclic peptides with photocrosslinkers incorporated prior to screening.

    • Susannah H. Calvert
    • Joanna F. McGouran
    News & Views
  • The development of radical sulfurating reagents, which react with carbon-centred radicals to install a variety of organosulfur motifs in a highly selective manner, circumvents the need to preserve these often-vulnerable moieties through lengthy syntheses.

    • Zijun Wu
    • Derek A. Pratt
    Review Article
  • Anion effects can be well tuned to effectively improve their electrochemical performances in many aspects. This Review highlights the considerable effects of anions on surface and interface chemistry, mass transfer kinetics and solvation sheath structure across various energy storage devices.

    • Zhaodong Huang
    • Xinliang Li
    • Chunyi Zhi
    Review Article