IMAGE CREDIT: ELLA MARU STUDIO, INC.; COVER DESIGN: TULSI VORALIA

Catalyst structure–performance descriptors

Understanding the effect of acidity on the performance of a zeolitic catalyst for the production of propylene.

Latest Research

  • Article |

    Light can selectively drive and control the reversible reaction between a nitrogen nucleophile and a photoswitchable carbonyl electrophile by inducing wavelength-specific tautomerization cycles. This enables external and bidirectional regulation of closed dynamic covalent systems via C=N exchange, resembling a light-powered bidirectional molecular-scale Dean–Stark trap.

    • Michael Kathan
    • , Fabian Eisenreich
    • , Christoph Jurissek
    • , Andre Dallmann
    • , Johannes Gurke
    •  & Stefan Hecht
  • Article |

    The polyoxoanion [P2W18O62]6− has been shown to reversibly accept up to 18 electrons upon reduction in aqueous solution. The resulting highly reduced solution can then be used either for the on-demand generation of hydrogen over a catalyst bed, or as a high-energy-density electrolyte in a redox flow battery.

    • Jia-Jia Chen
    • , Mark D. Symes
    •  & Leroy Cronin
  • Article |

    The promise shown by metal–organic frameworks for various applications is somewhat dampened by their instability towards water. Now, an activated MOF has shown good hydrolytic stability owing to the presence of weak, sacrificial coordination bonds that act as a ‘crumple zone’. On hydration, these weak bonds are cleaved preferentially to stronger coordination bonds that hold the MOF together.

    • Lauren N. McHugh
    • , Matthew J. McPherson
    • , Laura J. McCormick
    • , Samuel A. Morris
    • , Paul S. Wheatley
    • , Simon J. Teat
    • , David McKay
    • , Daniel M. Dawson
    • , Charlotte E. F. Sansome
    • , Sharon E. Ashbrook
    • , Corinne A. Stone
    • , Martin W. Smith
    •  & Russell E. Morris
  • Article |

    Triplet–triplet energy transfer activation of disulfides enables the chemoselective anti-Markovnikov hydroalkyl/aryl thiolation of alkenes and alkynes—and can also be used for the biologically important hydromethylthiolation reaction. This fast disulfide–ene reaction is biocompatible and is tolerant of a wide range of functional groups. The triplet–triplet energy transfer sensitization process was studied in detail with transient absorption spectroscopy.

    • Michael Teders
    • , Christian Henkel
    • , Lea Anhäuser
    • , Felix Strieth-Kalthoff
    • , Adrián Gómez-Suárez
    • , Roman Kleinmans
    • , Axel Kahnt
    • , Andrea Rentmeister
    • , Dirk Guldi
    •  & Frank Glorius
  • Article |

    Heteroatom doping is a widely used modification method for carbon-based catalysts. Now, chemically defined sp-hybridized nitrogen atoms have been selectively introduced to the acetylene groups in ultrathin graphdiynes, resulting in good catalytic activity for the oxygen reduction reaction in both alkaline and acidic media.

    • Yasong Zhao
    • , Jiawei Wan
    • , Huiying Yao
    • , Lijuan Zhang
    • , Kaifeng Lin
    • , Lei Wang
    • , Nailiang Yang
    • , Daobin Liu
    • , Li Song
    • , Jia Zhu
    • , Lin Gu
    • , Lei Liu
    • , Huijun Zhao
    • , Yuliang Li
    •  & Dan Wang
  • Article |

    Catalyst-controlled site selectivity without relying on the influence of a directing group within the substrate is a major challenge in C–H functionalization. Now a catalyst is described that selectively functionalizes non-activated primary C–H bonds in the presence of a variety of other C–H bonds and functional groups.

    • Kuangbiao Liao
    • , Yun-Fang Yang
    • , Yingzi Li
    • , Jacob N. Sanders
    • , K. N. Houk
    • , Djamaladdin G. Musaev
    •  & Huw M. L. Davies

News & Comment

  • News & Views |

    A new pyrrolysyl-tRNA synthetase/PyltRNA (PylRS/PyltRNA) pair that is mutually orthogonal to existing PylRS/PyltRNA pairs has now been discovered and optimized. This system could enable the site-specific incorporation of a greater number of distinct non-canonical amino acids into a protein.

    • William S. C. Ngai
    •  & Peng R. Chen
  • News & Views |

    Potassium channels rapidly move K+ ions across cell membranes while blocking Na+, but how these two effects are achieved simultaneously has remained unclear. Now, extensive molecular simulations show a single mechanism that features fully dehydrated ions can explain both rapid transport and impeccable selectivity.

    • Ben Corry
  • News & Views |

    Enzymes can perform various biological functions because of their delicately and precisely organized structures. Now, simple inorganic nanoparticles with a rationally designed recognition capability can mimic restriction enzymes and selectively cut specific DNA sequences.

    • Aleksandar P. Ivanov
    •  & Joshua B. Edel
  • In Your Element |

    Vikki Cantrill tells the story of element 88’s discovery and how its glowing reputation eventually faded.

    • Vikki Cantrill
  • Thesis |

    Bruce C. Gibb takes us on a journey through the physical and chemical evolution of planet Earth and suggests that the reverse Hofmeister effect, the phenomenon whereby poorly solvated ions associate in water, could be a powerful driving force towards the first hint of life on the rock we call home.

    • Bruce C. Gibb
  • In Your Element |

    Kit Chapman explores the voyage to the discovery of element 118, the pioneer chemist it is named after, and false claims made along the way.

    • Kit Chapman

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