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Volume 5 Issue 9, September 2021

Electron diffraction allows us to determine molecular structures from sub-micrometre-sized crystals with similar precision as X-ray diffraction does with bigger crystals. The burgeoning recent applications of electron diffraction suggest that it can readily be included in the analytical portfolio of chemists and those in related disciplines. See Gruene et al.

Image: Julian J. Holstein & Shota Hasegawa, TU Dortmund University; Design: Carl Conway. [Note: The image credit originally published was incorrect; it has now been updated.]


  • The Fenton and Fenton-like reactions feature in oxidative stress and are central to advanced oxidation technologies to remediate organic pollutants. The reactions are often simplistically taught to afford only hydroxyl radical as the active oxidant. Yet, this is just one of many possible oxidants and is probably not the major oxidant formed under biological conditions.

    • Dan Meyerstein


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Research Highlights

  • It has so far proved difficult to characterize halogen bonds in solution. A new and simple approach is to use scalar coupling between atoms in a halogen bond donor as a measure of bond strengths with diverse acceptors.

    • David Schilter
    Research Highlight
  • The supramolecular assembly of oligomers encoded with complementary recognition units enables duplex hybridization with helical structure.

    • Colette Whitfield
    Research Highlight
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News & Views

  • Molecular decoders are single host matrices able to differentiate analytes by their distinct structural accommodations. Ten years ago, Susumu Kitagawa and co-workers described the prototypical molecular decoder and paved the way for molecular sensing. We now revisit this seminal study and discuss some of the advances that have followed.

    • Soumya Mukherjee
    • Sujit K. Ghosh
    News & Views
  • Recent findings on the skeletal rearrangement of polycyclic aromatics under oxidative and acidic conditions are envisioned to help development of these Scholl reactions into a more useful and versatile method for synthesizing polycyclic aromatics on the basis of rational design rather than luck.

    • Qian Miao
    News & Views
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  • Interrupting a reaction reroutes the outcome of a known chemical process. This Review highlights advances that enable the redirection of common intermediates in organic chemistry to new outcomes.

    • Vincent Trudel
    • Chieh-Hung Tien
    • Andrei K. Yudin
    Review Article
  • Transient directing groups enable selective metal-catalysed C–H functionalization reactions to give diverse products. These directing groups form and dissociate in situ, such that their use is an efficient route to complex organics, examples of which are summarized in this Review.

    • Nupur Goswami
    • Trisha Bhattacharya
    • Debabrata Maiti
    Review Article
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  • Although a stalwart in materials science, electron diffraction has only recently become popular for characterizing molecular structures. This Perspective describes practical aspects of the method, which affords complementary information to X-ray and neutron diffraction.

    • Tim Gruene
    • Julian J. Holstein
    • Bernhard Keppler
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