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Volume 3 Issue 4, April 2024

Mixing immiscible metals

The synthesis of coordination-controlled metal alloys is reported using a metallurgy-based alloy design and subsequent de-alloying process. The metallurgical alloy catalysts enable the control of metal active sites and steer CO2 electroreduction towards hydrocarbon or oxygenate production.

See Kim et al.

Image: Younghee Lee/CUBE3D Graphic. Cover design: Amie Fernandez


  • Irreproducible synthetic methods consume time, money, and resources. Here, we highlight the steps Nature Synthesis takes to help authors make their synthetic procedures as reproducible as possible.



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Research Highlights

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News & Views

  • Artificial intelligence is used to automate the synthesis of single molecules using the tip of a scanning probe microscope, as well as to extract chemical information from these reactions.

    • Zilin Ruan
    • J. Michael Gottfried
    News & Views
  • Chemical selenylation of sulfur carrier proteins enables enzymatic incorporation of selenium into small molecules, thereby advancing a biocatalytic method for C–Se bond formation and chemoenzymatic selenometabolite synthesis.

    • Chase M. Kayrouz
    • Mohammad R. Seyedsayamdost
    News & Views
  • Collaboration between synthesis laboratories requires procedures that are reproducible despite differences in equipment. Now, a digital standard for automated chemical synthesis reproduces results between distinct laboratory systems almost half a world apart.

    • Richard B. Canty
    • Klavs F. Jensen
    News & Views
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Research Briefings

  • A strategy for the precise and scalable synthesis of a series of M1M2 (where M is a metal ion) heteronuclear dual-atom catalysts (DACs) is proposed. Photoinduced electron accumulation at the M1 sites results in the capture and reduction of M2 cations close to the M1 sites to generate DACs with high purity.

    Research Briefing
  • The direct carbonylation of alkanes with CO suffers from low conversion owing to equilibrium constraints. Now, a strategy is presented that combines reversible alkane carbonylation with an asymmetric transformation to overcome the equilibrium limitations, enabling the synthesis of chiral β- and α-amino ketones from alkanes, CO and anilines.

    Research Briefing
  • A general strategy for synthesizing high-nuclearity Cu(i) alkynide nanoclusters is developed, involving a tripodal polydentate phosphoramide ligand to stabilize the nanoclusters and an alkynol ligand for the facile in situ generation of the ethynediide (C22–) dianion to template nanocluster formation. The Cu(i) alkynide nanocluster Cu62 exhibits good stability and activity as a catalyst for photobleaching.

    Research Briefing
  • The enantioselective synthesis of an inherently chiral molecular nanographene is demonstrated by precisely controlling the sequential generation of chiral elements in its structure. The final stereocontrolled graphitization step allows for the separate synthesis of both enantiomers, thus paving the way towards chirality controlled all-carbon nanographenes.

    Research Briefing
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  • A chemist-intuited atomic robotic probe is developed that enables autonomous site-selective manipulation of magnetic nanographenes with atomic precision and aids in reaction mechanism elucidation through the incorporation of learned knowledge and artificial intelligence, leading to the intelligent synthesis of these materials.

    • Jie Su
    • Jiali Li
    • Jiong Lu
  • The use of a universal chemical programming language (χDL) to encode and execute synthesis procedures for a variety of chemical reactions is reported, including reductive amination, ring formation, esterification, carbon–carbon bond formation and amide coupling. These procedures are validated and repeated in two international laboratories and on three independent robots.

    • Robert Rauschen
    • Mason Guy
    • Leroy Cronin
  • A navigation and positioning strategy is proposed for the scalable synthesis of a series of heteronuclear dual-atom catalysts via irradiation. It is shown that photo-induced electron accumulation at the M1 site can attract an M2 metal cation, forming heteronuclear dimers with high purity.

    • Qiu-Ping Zhao
    • Wen-Xiong Shi
    • Tong-Bu Lu
  • Alkane carbonylation through photocatalytic alkyl radical addition to CO is a challenge. Now, an equilibrium-leveraging strategy which combines the direct carbonylation of alkanes with CO with onwards enantioselective transformations is reported, providing an enantioselective method for the synthesis of β-amino and α-amino ketones.

    • Wei-Wei Ding
    • Zhi-Yuan He
    • Liu-Zhu Gong
  • Precipitation of target functional materials from water is sensitive to precursor selection and aqueous electrochemistry (pH and redox potential), where competition between thermodynamics and kinetics can yield undesired impurity phases. Now, a theoretical framework to identify optimal synthesis conditions of target materials is developed and validated against a literature dataset and direct experiments.

    • Zheren Wang
    • Yingzhi Sun
    • Gerbrand Ceder
    Article Open Access
  • The development of strategies to access boronate esters from ubiquitous aliphatic C−H bonds is of long-standing interest in the synthesis community. Now a photoelectrochemically driven C(sp3)−H borylation reaction of alkanes is developed, in which iron, an abundant earth-based resource, is employed as a photoelectrochemical catalyst.

    • Yangmin Cao
    • Cheng Huang
    • Qingquan Lu
  • The enantioselective folding of a planar nanographene layer is achieved in three steps: introduction of chiral information, enantiospecific ring closing with the removal of oxygen atoms and an enantiospecific Scholl reaction. The Scholl reaction introduces a helical bend in an all-carbon bilayer nanographene.

    • Manuel Buendía
    • Jesús M. Fernández-García
    • Nazario Martín
    Article Open Access
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Amendments & Corrections

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