Volume 2 Issue 5, May 2018

Volume 2 Issue 5

Incorporating polar co-monomers into otherwise unfunctionalized polyolefins affords materials with distinct properties but poses a challenge for archetypal metal catalysts, which are typically poisoned on binding to heteroatom lone pairs. This cover image depicts one strategy to overcome this challenge, whereby one metal centre sequesters a polar group, with an adjacent metal centre then being able to insert the olefin into a growing polymer chain.

See: Chen, C. Designing catalysts for olefin polymerization and copolymerization: beyond electronic and steric tuning. Nat. Rev. Chem. (2018).

Image: David Schilter Design: Rachael Tremlett.

Research Highlights

  • Research Highlight |

    The resolution of AFM images is highly sensitive to the atomic composition and structure of the tip. Harry Mönig and co-workers show that an oxygen-terminated copper tip can enable imaging at unprecedented resolution, allowing us to study molecular interactions in exquisite detail.

    • Gabriella Graziano
  • Research Highlight |

    It is challenging to efficiently reduce CO2, let alone do so with deliberate control of selectivity. A new study on metalloporphyrin-catalyzed CO2 electroreduction reveals why some catalysts make CO and others make HCO2H.

    • David Schilter
  • Research Highlight |

    The development of a green route to allylic sulfones reveals that, counter-intuitively, water promotes a dehydration reaction.

    • Katherine J. Geogheghan

In the Classroom

  • In the Classroom |

    How do we introduce games into our classrooms and what kind of learning outcomes can we expect?

    • Julia Winter



  • Review Article |

    Transition-metal-catalysed hydrosilylation and hydroboration reactions are valuable in the synthesis of commodity and fine chemicals, respectively. This Review describes the catalyst design principles that enable us to perform these reactions using catalysts based on earth-abundant metals. Scenarios in which using earth-abundant metals can offer an advantage over using a precious metal are also outlined.

    • Jennifer V. Obligacion
    •  & Paul J. Chirik