Artist’s impression of a conical intersection emerging from a single, laser-driven trapped io

Read our November issue

This month, a Thesis that wonders what personal qualities help chemists achieve success in the lab, the usual mix of Articles and News and Views, and an In Your Element Article on ferrocene.


  • A Nobel medal in the foreground with some beakers and flasks in the background.

    The 2023 Nobel Prize in Chemistry has been awarded to Moungi G. Bawendi, Louis E. Brus and Alexei I. Ekimov for the discovery and synthesis of quantum dots. In recognition of this award, Nature Portfolio presents a collection of research, review and opinion articles that highlight the development of quantum dots over the past three decades.

  • A lab with robotic arms carrying out experiments

    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.

  • A petrochemical refinery located at the edge of a body of water illuminates the surroundings with its many bright lights at night

    Nature Chemical Engineering is open for submissions. The journal will cover a broad range of systems and scales that significantly advance fundamental research, aid product and process development and explore new technological solutions, all in the context of core chemical engineering approaches. It will publish research, reviews and opinion articles.

Nature Chemistry is a Transformative Journal; authors can publish using the traditional publishing route OR via immediate gold Open Access.

Our Open Access option complies with funder and institutional requirements.


  • Enzyme-initiated polymerization-induced self-assembly has been used to generate various biomimetic structures. Now, myoglobin’s activity is used for biocatalytic polymerization-induced self-assembly to generate vesicular artificial cells. As various cargoes can be encapsulated during polymerization, these artificial cells are capable of protein expression and can act as microreactors for distinct enzymatic reactions.

    • Andrea Belluati
    • Sètuhn Jimaja
    • Nico Bruns
    ArticleOpen Access
  • Many natural products are produced by non-ribosomal peptide synthetases in an assembly-line fashion. How these molecular machines orchestrate the biochemical sequences has remained elusive. It is now understood that an extended-conformation ensemble is needed to coordinate chemical-transformation steps whereas the biosynthesis directionality is driven by the enzyme’s innate conformational free energies.

    • Xun Sun
    • Jonas Alfermann
    • Haw Yang
  • The synthesis of two-dimensional (2D) organic lateral heterostructures with desirable properties from organic single crystals remains challenging. Now, 2D organic lateral heterostructures have been produced by using a liquid-phase growth approach and vapour-phase growth method, enabling the structural inversion of organic lateral heterostructures via a two-step strategy.

    • Qiang Lv
    • Xue-Dong Wang
    • Liang-Sheng Liao
  • Polymethine dyes are bright and red-shifted fluorophores that lack an intrinsic turn-on mechanism, which leads to non-specific staining when applied to biological samples. Now the fluorescence of polymethine dyes was masked through an intracellular cyclization strategy that gets reversed upon binding an intended macromolecular target, providing specificity for live-cell imaging.

    • Annabell Martin
    • Pablo Rivera-Fuentes
    ArticleOpen Access
  • Late-stage functionalization of complex drug molecules is challenging. To address this problem, a discovery platform based on geometric deep learning and high-throughput experimentation was developed. The computational model predicts binary reaction outcome, reaction yield and regioselectivity with low error margins, enabling the functionalization of complex molecules without de novo synthesis.

    • David F. Nippa
    • Kenneth Atz
    • Gisbert Schneider
    ArticleOpen Access
  • Long polyynes have fascinating properties but they are difficult to synthesize as a consequence of their high reactivity. Now, it has been shown that cobalt carbonyl complexes can be used as masked alkyne equivalents, enabling the preparation of stable polyyne polyrotaxanes with up to 34 contiguous triple bonds.

    • Connor W. Patrick
    • Yueze Gao
    • Harry L. Anderson
    ArticleOpen Access
    • Fluoroalkyl fragments are ubiquitous motifs in pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals, but their introduction to a given molecule typically involves expensive or difficult-to-handle reagents. Now, the photocatalysed hydrofluoroalkylation of alkenes has been achieved using simple and readily available fluoroalkyl carboxylic acids.

      • Fabio Juliá
      News & Views
    • Stereoselective decarboxylative protonation can produce diverse chiral molecules from widely available carboxylic acids. However, general and practical strategies are lacking. Now, a chiral spirocyclic phosphoric acid-catalysed decarboxylation of aminomalonic acids has enabled the modular synthesis of α-amino acids.

      • Xufeng Lin
      • Alemayehu Gashaw Woldegiorgis
      News & Views
    • Recent improvements in de novo protein design are likely to support a broad range of applications, but larger complexes will be easier to create if a building block approach is adopted. Now protein filaments with tunable geometry can be made using assemblies that have both cyclic and superhelical symmetries aligned along the same axis.

      • Jeremy R. H. Tame
      News & Views
    • Ribonucleoprotein granules are ubiquitous in living organisms with the protein and RNA components having distinct roles. In the absence of proteins, RNAs are shown to undergo phase separation upon heating. This transition is driven by desolvation entropy and ion-mediated crosslinking and is tuned by the chemical specificity of the RNA nucleobases.

      Research Briefing
  • Becoming an assistant professor brings with it numerous challenges, one of which is teaching undergraduate courses for the first time. Shira Joudan reflects on the ups and downs of setting up and delivering her first course.

    • Shira Joudan
  • Daniel Rabinovich outlines the story of insulin, the essential drug for the treatment of diabetes during the past century.

    • Daniel Rabinovich
    In Your Element
  • Didier Astruc surveys the numerous applications of ferrocene, from catalysis to materials and redox-related devices including biosensors and nanomedicine.

    • Didier Astruc
    In Your Element
  • Few explosives are better-known to non-chemists than trinitrotoluene (TNT). Thomas M. Klapötke reflects on the enduring appeal of TNT and whether its starring role as an explosive is nearing its end.

    • Thomas M. Klapötke
    In Your Element
  • Teaching the history of science along with the science itself can give students greater context about the topic they are learning and a wider perspective on how it has developed. Michelle Francl, who has wrestled with how much time to spend on teaching history in the chemistry classroom for years, considers how unconventional histories can shift the curriculum.

    • Michelle Francl

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