IMAGE CREDIT: DARIUS SIWEK; COVER DESIGN: TULSI VORALIA

Photo-driven reactions at the double

Sequential light-driven oxidation of a titania-bound molecular proxy catalyst.

Latest Research

  • Article |

    Spectroscopists and theorists are closing in on an understanding of the origin of oscillatory features in the spectral response of light-harvesting complexes to femtosecond pulsed excitation. Now, the photosynthetic FMO complex is probed by femtosecond pump–probe spectroscopy and compared with a series of genetically modified mutants with distinct excitonic interactions, allowing electronic and vibrational contributions to coherence to be distinguished.

    • Margherita Maiuri
    • , Evgeny E. Ostroumov
    • , Rafael G. Saer
    • , Robert E. Blankenship
    •  & Gregory D. Scholes
  • Article |

    According to the entatic-state principle, distortions of the coordination geometry of a reacting compound can optimize the energies of starting and final states to improve reaction rates. Here, the entatic-state principle is observed to apply to photoactive copper complexes that have a constrained ligand geometry, resulting in very short charge-transfer state lifetimes.

    • B. Dicke
    • , A. Hoffmann
    • , J. Stanek
    • , M. S. Rampp
    • , B. Grimm-Lebsanft
    • , F. Biebl
    • , D. Rukser
    • , B. Maerz
    • , D. Göries
    • , M. Naumova
    • , M. Biednov
    • , G. Neuber
    • , A. Wetzel
    • , S. M. Hofmann
    • , P. Roedig
    • , A. Meents
    • , J. Bielecki
    • , J. Andreasson
    • , K. R. Beyerlein
    • , H. N. Chapman
    • , C. Bressler
    • , W. Zinth
    • , M. Rübhausen
    •  & S. Herres-Pawlis
  • Article |

    Understanding how a supporting material can change the surface chemistry of the nanoparticle catalysts that it hosts is critical to tuning catalytic properties. Experimental Hammett studies and density functional theory calculations show that differences in reactivity can be attributed to differences in the electron density at metal active sites, which arises from differences in electron donation from the support.

    • Gaurav Kumar
    • , Luke Tibbitts
    • , Jaclyn Newell
    • , Basu Panthi
    • , Ahana Mukhopadhyay
    • , Robert M. Rioux
    • , Christopher J. Pursell
    • , Michael Janik
    •  & Bert D. Chandler
  • Article |

    Biomaterials that respond to precise combinations of environmental cues represent an important technology for tissue engineering and next-generation drug delivery systems. Now, a modular framework to programme material degradation following Boolean logic has been demonstrated by specifying the molecular architecture and connectivity of orthogonal stimuli-labile moieties within hydrogel cross-linkers.

    • Barry A. Badeau
    • , Michael P. Comerford
    • , Christopher K. Arakawa
    • , Jared A. Shadish
    •  & Cole A. DeForest
  • Article |

    The capture of an electron by a molecule represents one of the most fundamental chemical transformations, but its mechanism at very low energies remains unclear. Now, it is shown that low-energy electron attachment to hexafluorobenzene is mediated by a non-valence correlation-bound state of the anion.

    • Joshua P. Rogers
    • , Cate S. Anstöter
    •  & Jan R. R. Verlet
  • Article |

    Intracellular asymmetric transfer hydrogenation catalysis using Os(II) complexes has now been demonstrated and offers a new approach for selectively killing cancer cells. Enantiomers of Os(II) arene catalysts can penetrate cell membranes enabling the reduction of pyruvate to D- or L-lactate using formate as a hydride source, with high enantioselectivity.

    • James P. C. Coverdale
    • , Isolda Romero-Canelón
    • , Carlos Sanchez-Cano
    • , Guy J. Clarkson
    • , Abraha Habtemariam
    • , Martin Wills
    •  & Peter J. Sadler

News & Comment

  • In Your Element |

    Geng Deng relates how terbium, a garden-variety lanthanide, has found its way into our daily lives owing to its green fluorescence.

    • Geng Deng
  • Thesis |

    Michelle Francl muses on fantastic beasts of chemistry and why we try to find them.

    • Michelle Francl
  • News & Views |

    Molecular crystals have recently started to shake their inflexible reputation. Now, copper(II) acetylacetonate needles have been shown to be very flexible, and their mechanical deformation has been assessed through materials constants using methods customarily reserved for non-molecular materials.

    • Bart Kahr
    •  & Michael D. Ward
  • News & Views |

    Water-oxidation catalysts that are fast and efficient in strong acid are rare even though there are several benefits for systems working at low pH. Such catalysts usually feature expensive noble metals such as ruthenium and iridum; however, an electrocatalytic system that is exceptionally efficient and based on cobalt has now been developed.

    • Qiushi Yin
    •  & Craig L. Hill
  • News & Views |

    The accumulation of multiple redox equivalents is essential in photo-driven catalytic reactions such as solar water splitting. However, direct spectroscopic observation of a twice-oxidized species under diffuse illumination has proved elusive until now.

    • Anna M. Beiler
    •  & Gary F. Moore
  • News & Views |

    Building materials with clusters instead of atoms promises unconventional properties, but those 'superatomic solids' are often too fragile to manipulate. Now, intercalating a guest within an ionic layered solid made of fullerenes and metal chalcogenide clusters greatly alters its conductivity and optical properties without disrupting its crystalline structure.

    • Shiv N. Khanna
    •  & Arthur C. Reber

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