Volume 2 Issue 2, February 2018

Volume 2 Issue 2

Species containing planar pentacoordinate carbon centres have, to many eyes, strikingly exotic and inconceivable structures. Yet, many such species have been predicted using computational chemistry, and we now have principles that can be applied to designing (and eventually isolating) these interesting motifs.

See: Vassilev-Galindo, V., Pan, S., Donald, K. J. & Merino, G. Planar pentacoordinate carbons. Nat. Rev. Chem. 2, 0114 (2018).

Image: David Schilter Design: Rachael Tremlett

Research Highlights

  • Research Highlight |

    Electrocatalytic O2 reduction on metal surfaces is well understood in acidic solution, but the mechanism in basic solution has been a point of contention. On studying the O2 reduction activities of a series of Pt(111)–Cu surface alloys, it becomes clear that the surface-bound oxygenic intermediates are the same regardless of the pH.

    • David Schilter
  • Research Highlight |

    The first detection of rotational features of benzonitrile offers the opportunity to undesrtand the origin of PAHs in space.

    • Gabriella Graziano
  • Research Highlight |

    The practicality of radical polymerizations is limited by their sensitivity to O2. This inhibitor can be enzymatically degraded into H2O2, which is scavenged by pyruvate as part of a new atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) methodology.

    • Johannes Kreutzer


  • Review Article |

    Building on the theoretical prediction and experimental realization of planar tetracoordinate carbons, there has been great progress in the theoretical prediction of species containing planar pentacoordinate carbon (ppC) centres. From simple clusters such as CAl5+ to complicated ppCs in 2D materials, this Review summarizes the ppC-containing species predicted to date and the design principles behind them.

    • Valentin Vassilev-Galindo
    • , Sudip Pan
    • , Kelling J. Donald
    •  & Gabriel Merino
  • Review Article |

    Iterative approaches to synthesis have revolutionized the preparation and study of peptides, nucleic acids and sugars. This Review discusses whether and how such iterative syntheses can be applied more broadly towards an ultimate goal of developing a building block approach to the synthesis of most small organic molecules.

    • Jonathan W. Lehmann
    • , Daniel J. Blair
    •  & Martin D. Burke
  • Review Article |

    The metals in polyoxometalates need not be in their highest oxidation states. Indeed, polyoxometalates can exist in reduced forms, and several different metals can be incorporated into various structural archetypes. This Review describes the synthesis and characterization of these complexes, along with their topical catalytic, electronic and biological properties.

    • Nadiia I. Gumerova
    •  & Annette Rompel