Reviews & Analysis

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  • Biomass and plastic share structural similarities in their composition and types of bond linkage between their monomeric units. Reviewing their catalytic conversion technologies in a unified angle provides new insights and opportunities for future advances.

    • Kyungho Lee
    • Yaxuan Jing
    • Ning Yan
    Review Article
  • Fused-ring electron acceptors are excellent n-type organic semiconductors with outstanding optoelectronic conversion and electron transport abilities. This Review highlights the fundamental principles, design strategies and versatile applications of fused-ring electron acceptors in photovoltaics, electronics and photonics.

    • Jiayu Wang
    • Peiyao Xue
    • Xiaowei Zhan
    Review Article
  • Hydrogels have been found to replicate the gel-like properties of many intracellular environments and are thus of great interest in the construction of artificial cells. This Review highlights how hydrogels are currently used and explores avenues for their use in the construction of next-generation artificial cells.

    • Matthew E. Allen
    • James W. Hindley
    • Yuval Elani
    Review Article
  • Ten years ago, the engineering of a small luciferase called NanoLuc broke through a common limitation of bioluminescence. Currently the brightest known bioluminescent protein, NanoLuc’s activity has been used across a huge application range — enabling measurements in single cells and in whole living organisms.

    • Takeharu Nagai
    • Mitsuru Hattori
    News & Views
  • Cryopreservation is a platform technology that underpins the delivery of complex therapies to patients and enables fundamental cell biology by allowing the banking and recovery of viable cells. This Review summarizes the role, and opportunities, for chemistry-driven approaches to cryopreservation, beyond formulation, to the design and discovery of innovative solutions.

    • Kathryn A. Murray
    • Matthew I. Gibson
    Review Article
  • The construction of the highly valuable C(sp3)–N bond motif in a generalizable, selective, robust manner has been in demand for decades. This Review highlights the new and rising avenues towards this goal in the context of visible light-induced chemistry.

    • Mónica Rivas
    • Vitalii Palchykov
    • Vladimir Gevorgyan
    Review Article
  • Chiral metal halide semiconductors are a new class of hybrid organic–inorganic materials that combine the properties of small chiral organic molecules with those of extended inorganic semiconductors. This Review highlights the design, properties and emerging applications of these chiral semiconductors, with an emphasis on structure–property relationships.

    • Haipeng Lu
    • Zeev Valy Vardeny
    • Matthew C. Beard
    Review Article
  • Carboranes are heteroborane clusters that offer many unique advantages in the exploration of biologically relevant chemical space. This Review highlights the examples of where carboranes have been used in drug discovery, chemical biology and molecular imaging.

    • Anita Marfavi
    • Poya Kavianpour
    • Louis M. Rendina
    Review Article
  • Adoption of renewable energy sources will need to be accompanied by methods for energy storage. Lithium-ion batteries continue to dominate for portable electronic applications but other technologies are required for long-term and larger-scale storage. Redox flow batteries, the focus of this Review, represent one such technology.

    • Leyuan Zhang
    • Ruozhu Feng
    • Guihua Yu
    Review Article
  • Snake venom contains a diversity of bioactive compounds. This Review highlights the complex chemistry of snake venom and shows how venom can be used to derive new therapeutic drugs.

    • Ana L. Oliveira
    • Matilde F. Viegas
    • Pedro A. Fernandes
    Review Article
  • In this Review, we chart recent advances in the use of chemistry to control droplet motility in lipid solutions. The discussion includes a highlight on the interplay between chemical reactivity that occurs at the molecular level and motile behaviour that emerges at larger length scales.

    • Dhanya Babu
    • Nathalie Katsonis
    • Alexander Ryabchun
    Review Article
  • Studies employing machine-learning (ML) tools in the chemical sciences often report their evaluations in a heterogeneous way. The evaluation guidelines provided in this Perspective should enable more rigorous ML reporting.

    • Andreas Bender
    • Nadine Schneider
    • Tiago Rodrigues
    Perspective
  • Radical reaction pathways have evolved sufficiently that C(sp3)–H bonds may now be viewed as strategic ‘reagents’ for bond formation in synthetic organic chemistry. This Review highlights the diverse approaches for C(sp3)–H functionalization and cross-coupling reactions, emphasizing radical-relay reactions.

    • Dung L. Golden
    • Sung-Eun Suh
    • Shannon S. Stahl
    Review Article
  • The rational design of a novel fluorinated ethereal solvent shows a promising direction towards compact and lightweight batteries.

    • Rekha Narayan
    • Robert Dominko
    News & Views
  • Reactions that form C–N bonds are key in the synthesis of molecules used in fertilizers, synthetic materials, pharmaceuticals and more. This Review examines the emerging area of heterogeneous electrocatalytic C–N bond formation using abundant starting materials, with the eventual goal of electrifying chemical manufacturing.

    • Junnan Li
    • Yuxuan Zhang
    • Nikolay Kornienko
    Review Article
  • Modern data science can help to address challenges in experimental chemistry. This Expert Recommendation describes examples of how data science is changing the way we conduct experiments and outlines opportunities for further integration of data science and experimental chemistry to advance these fields.

    • Junko Yano
    • Kelly J. Gaffney
    • Francesca M. Toma
    Expert Recommendation
  • Dramatic innovations in surface and bulk chemistry enable MXenes to flourish in electrochemical applications. This Review analyses the recorded footprints of MXene components for energy storage, with particular attention paid to a coherent understanding of the fundamental relationship between MXene components and their qualified roles from a nuanced chemical perspective.

    • Xinliang Li
    • Zhaodong Huang
    • Chunyi Zhi
    Review Article
  • Metal–organic cages with good solubility, accessible cavities and abundant reactive sites can undergo various post-synthetic modifications to assemble into multidimensional functional materials. This Review explores current post-synthetic modification strategies used for metal–organic cages, including covalent, coordination and noncovalent methods.

    • Jinjin Liu
    • Zhifang Wang
    • Zhenjie Zhang
    Review Article
  • Creating artificial nanostructures inside living cells requires the careful design of molecules that can transform into active monomers within a complex cellular environment. This Review explores the recent development of bioresponsive precursors for the controlled formation of intracellular supramolecular assemblies.

    • Sarah Chagri
    • David Y. W. Ng
    • Tanja Weil
    Review Article