• Reaction over cubic catalyst

    Ammonia is an essential global chemical but its synthesis is energy intensive and pollutes the environment. This Focus issue highlights recent developments in green ammonia synthesis, as well as discussing the challenges which need to be overcome for the commercial production of green ammonia.

  • Robot arms working in chemistry laboratory.

    The combination of techniques such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, robotics and automation can be used to accelerate chemical and materials synthesis. This Focus issue showcases developments in the automation and digitalization of synthesis, as well as highlights the challenges to be overcome in this area.

  • Pipes in chemical factory

    Flow chemistry is an enabling technology which is used to tackle synthetic problems in both industrial and academic settings. This Focus issue showcases how flow technologies can provide reaction outcomes which are distinct from the corresponding batch processes and how they can be applied in synthesis.

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  • Electrochemical methods have great potential to help achieve net-zero emissions. Here, a method to synthesize ethylene carbonate is reported, which is electrochemically initiated and enables the concurrent production of hydrogen, capture of CO2 and subsequent conversion of the captured CO2 during ethylene carbonate synthesis.

    • Jun Ho Jang
    • Changsoo Kim
    • Ki Tae Nam
  • The synthesis, isolation and characterization of palladium complexes featuring one, two and three anionic aluminium ligands are reported, in which the aluminium ligands effectively stabilize the palladium in the zero-oxidation state. The aluminium–palladium bonds are highly polarized and the negatively charged palladium centre readily undergoes activation of B–B and C–N bonds.

    • Chenting Yan
    • Kota Koshino
    • Rei Kinjo
  • The isolation of secondary and primary carbon radical species is challenging, owing to their instability. Now the reduction of an acyclic bis(imino)carbene conjugate acid enables the isolation of a stable pentadienyl-type radical. In silico and in vitro probing of its properties reveal a propensity to act as a secondary carbon radical.

    • Ying Kai Loh
    • Levan Gojiashvili
    • Guy Bertrand
  • Biocatalytic methods for the synthesis of isoindolones, via C–H activation, have remained elusive. Now, an enantiodivergent artificial-metalloenzyme-catalysed method for the synthesis of chiral isoindolones is reported, using a streptavidin–biotin–Rh(III) catalyst system. Crystallographic analysis reveals the key residues that control stereoselectivity in streptavidin.

    • Prasun Mukherjee
    • Anjali Sairaman
    • Debabrata Maiti
  • The in situ generation of reactive (di)gallenes from a gallium–fluorobenzene complex and commercial chiral and achiral bisphosphine ligands is presented. The Ga(I) complex cations can undergo reversible cycloadditions to 1-alkenes and bond insertions into H–Si and H–B bonds.

    • Philipp Dabringhaus
    • Harald Scherer
    • Ingo Krossing