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Volume 1 Issue 7, July 2022

Carbon nanobelts with a twist

Fully-fused Möbius carbon nanobelts are synthesized using a bottom-up approach in which the aromatic carbon chain is formed by sequential Wittig reactions. This synthesis may pave the way for the development of nanocarbon materials with complex topological structures.

See Segawa et al.

Image: Issey Takahashi, Nagoya University. Cover Design: Tulsi Voralia.


  • Decades can pass from the discovery of a molecule or material to its commercial use and often the eventual application differs from the use initially envisaged by the curious researcher.



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Research Highlights

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News & Views

  • Using a bottom-up synthetic method, an all sp2-hybridized carbon nanobelt with a Möbius topology is prepared. The macrocyclization step is a Wittig reaction between an aldehyde and phosphorous ylide at opposite edges of a strip that induces a twist.

    • Tavis W. Price
    • Ramesh Jasti
    News & Views
  • Aminoglycosides are an important class of potent antibiotics; however traditional synthetic approaches are lengthy and often rely on enzyme-based routes. Now, a formal enantioselective copper-catalysed hydroamination of benzene enables the total synthesis of the antibiotic (+)-ribostamycin in ten linear steps.

    • Danniel K. Arriaga
    • Andy A. Thomas
    News & Views
  • Catalytic intramolecular C–H amination via nitrene transfer typically yields N-heterocycles which can be unmasked to amino alcohols and diamines. Now, an enantioselective Co-catalysed 1,5-C–H amination to form cyclic sulfamidates from alcohols allows for ring opening to deliver diverse β-functionalized chiral amines.

    • Emily E. Zerull
    • Jennifer M. Schomaker
    News & Views
  • Scalable and efficient chemical recycling of commodity polymeric materials remains a challenge as the materials continually accumulate in the environment. Now, upcycling of polystyrene into benzoic acid and other value-added chemicals is realized under mild photooxidation conditions, with hydrogen atom transfer as the key step.

    • Mizhi Xu
    • Will R. Gutekunst
    News & Views
  • Nickel-catalysed cross-electrophile coupling (XEC) is a useful reaction in synthetic organic chemistry. Now, a nickel-catalysed electrochemical XEC reaction mediated by dynamic ligand exchange enables the formation of a C(sp2)–C(sp3) bond between tertiary alkyl bromides and aryl (pseudo)halides.

    • Huan-Ming Huang
    News & Views
  • The current production of bulk chemicals often requires constant high temperatures. Now, Joule heating using electricity can be harnessed by imposing temperature modulation on reactions. By optimizing timescales, reaction selectivity and catalyst stability is improved.

    • Guy B. Marin
    • Kevin M. Van Geem
    News & Views
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  • The relationship between synthetic discoveries and the materials breakthroughs that they enable is explored in this Perspective. It is concluded that most materials breakthroughs involve chemical compounds that were made out of curiosity or for an entirely different purpose. This conclusion has implications for the role of exploratory synthesis in materials research.

    • Anthony K. Cheetham
    • Ram Seshadri
    • Fred Wudl
  • Crystal engineering of nanosized and hierarchical zeolites may improve the mass transport properties of materials at the nanoscale in various applications. In this Review, synthetic methods used to prepare different classes of zeolitic materials are summarized, with a focus on nucleation and growth mechanisms. Experimental and computational advances, as well as future challenges in the field, are discussed.

    • Adam J. Mallette
    • Seungwan Seo
    • Jeffrey D. Rimer
    Review Article
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  • Strategies for the creation of topological carbon nanostructures have greatly advanced synthetic organic chemistry and materials science. Now, the synthesis of a Möbius carbon nanobelt, a molecule with a twist on belt-shaped aromatic hydrocarbons, is reported.

    • Yasutomo Segawa
    • Tsugunori Watanabe
    • Kenichiro Itami
    Article Open Access
  • Synthetic routes to aminoglycosides are often long and rely upon the coupling of semisynthetically produced fragments. Now, an enantioselective, copper-catalysed hydroamination of benzene has been developed to enable access to the aminoglycoside antibiotic ribostamycin. This bottom-up strategy provides modular and expedient entry into the aminocyclitol class.

    • Chad N. Ungarean
    • Petra Galer
    • David Sarlah
  • Enantioselective C–H amination is an attractive strategy for the synthesis of chiral amines. Now, a combined radical and ionic approach has been developed for 1,2-difunctionalization of alcohols by merging enantioselective radical C–H amination with stereospecific nucleophilic ring-opening, enabling synthesis of β-functionalized chiral amines.

    • Kai Lang
    • Yang Hu
    • X. Peter Zhang
  • The high stability of THF and rapid cleavage of α-anionic THF make the direct generation and use of α-anionic THF challenging. Now, a flow synthetic method is used to control the metallation of unstable α-anionic THF, allowing a range of functionalization reactions to be carried out directly on THF.

    • Dongyong Kim
    • Hyune-Jea Lee
    • Heejin Kim
  • The Mizoroki–Heck reaction forms C−C bonds between aryl halides and alkenes. For electron-deficient alkenes, β-coupled products are typically formed and synthesizing α-arylated products is challenging. Now, a triple catalysis system (nickel, photoredox catalysis and sulfinate) enables regioirregular formal Mizoroki–Heck reactions for electron-deficient alkenes and styrenes to give α-arylated alkenes.

    • Kun Liu
    • Dirk Leifert
    • Armido Studer
    Article Open Access
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