Chemistry

  • Article
    | Open Access

    Many current immunoassays require multiple washing, incubation and optimization steps. Here the authors present Ratiometric Plug-and-Play Immunodiagnostics (RAPPID), a generic assay platform that uses ratiometric bioluminescent detection to allow sandwich immunoassays to be performed directly in solution.

    • Yan Ni
    • , Bas J. H. M. Rosier
    •  & Maarten Merkx
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Solar-driven CO2 reduction into value-added chemicals and fuels is attracting worldwide attention. Here, substantially enhanced photocatalytic CO2 reduction activity is achieved via the synergy of surface oxygen vacancies and ferroelectric polarization over Bi3TiNbO9 photocatalyst.

    • Hongjian Yu
    • , Fang Chen
    •  & Yihe Zhang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Despite many reports on nanoparticle-covalent organic frameworks (COF) composites, a universal strategy for the synthesis of monodisperse core-shell structured COF nanocomposites remains challenging. Here, the authors develop a strategy for interfacial growth of highly crystalline COFs on functional nanoparticles with abundant optical, electrical and magnetic properties.

    • Liang Chen
    • , Wenxing Wang
    •  & Xiaomin Li
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Wear reduction in diamond-like carbon interacting with ZDDP-additivated oils is essential for current automotive applications. Here, the authors present an atomic-scale study revealing that this can be achieved by tailoring diamond-like carbon’s stiffness, surface nano-topography, and hydrogen content.

    • Valentin R. Salinas Ruiz
    • , Takuya Kuwahara
    •  & Maria-Isabel de Barros Bouchet
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Fine tuning of mechanical properties in elastomers is important for application of elastomers in flexible devices and biomedical field. Here, the authors prepare a nacre inspired PDMS-montmorrillonite composite with good mechanical properties and demonstrate crack tracing using aggregation-induced emission luminogens.

    • Jingsong Peng
    • , Antoni P. Tomsia
    •  & Qunfeng Cheng
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The generation of non-stabilized alkyl radicals from sulfonium salts has been a challenge for several decades. Here, the authors show the treatment of S-(alkyl) thianthrenium salts, which can generate non-stabilized alkyl radicals as key intermediates that enable controlled and selective reactions under mild photoredox conditions.

    • Cheng Chen
    • , Zheng-Jun Wang
    •  & Zhuangzhi Shi
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Efficient production of benzene from lignin is attractive and of great importance, but has not been realized. Here, the authors develop a strategy to transform lignin into benzene over a RuW/zeolite catalyst in water, and the yield of benzene can be as high as 18.8% on lignin weight basis.

    • Qinglei Meng
    • , Jiang Yan
    •  & Buxing Han
  • Article
    | Open Access

    For many polymers, recycling via mechanical processes is not feasible and these materials are destined for landfills or incineration. Here the authors show an open-loop recycling method for superabsorbent polymers that involves decrosslinking via hydrolysis, an optional chain-shortening step via sonication, and functionalizing via Fischer esterification.

    • P. Takunda Chazovachii
    • , Madeline J. Somers
    •  & Anne J. McNeil
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The authors develop a method to build Manhattan Raman Scattering (MARS) probes based on different core atoms, conjugation ring numbers, and stable isotope substitutions. A quantitative model predicts vibrational frequencies of MARS dyes from structures, which are used in supermultiplexed vibrational imaging.

    • Yupeng Miao
    • , Naixin Qian
    •  & Wei Min
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Dielectric elastomer actuators (DEAs) with large electrically actuated strain can be used in non-magnetic motors, but high stiffness, poor strength and slow response currently limit the application of DEAs. Here, the authors optimize the crosslinking network in a polyacrylate elastomer to enable a DEA with high toughness and actuation strain and use the polyacrylate to build a motor which can be driven under low electric field.

    • Li-Juan Yin
    • , Yu Zhao
    •  & Zhi-Min Dang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    For printed electronics to realize its potential as a sustainable ubiquitous technology, eco-friendly solvents that deliver excellent ink performance must be found. Here, the authors report a free online tool that identifies functional green solvents for solution-processed printed electronics.

    • Christian Larsen
    • , Petter Lundberg
    •  & Ludvig Edman
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Self-assembling peptides have a range of potential applications but developing self-assembling sequences can be challenging. Here, the authors report on a one-bead one-compound combinatorial library where fluorescence is used to detect the potential for self-assembly and identified candidates are evaluated.

    • Pei-Pei Yang
    • , Yi-Jing Li
    •  & Kit S. Lam
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Ternary heterometallic clusters often display intriguing structures and bonding. Here the authors prepare four [Sn2Sb5]3−-based clusters stabilized by coordination of a transition metal ion; analysis of their electronic structure reveals that the resulting cluster displays globally aromatic or antiaromatic character depending on the transition metal ion.

    • Yu-He Xu
    • , Nikolay V. Tkachenko
    •  & Zhong-Ming Sun
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The photodissociation dynamics of small molecules in the vacuum ultraviolet range can have key implications for astrochemical modelling, but revealing such dynamical details is a challenging task. Here the authors, combining high resolution experimental techniques, provide a detailed description of the fragmentation dynamics of selected rotational levels of a predissociated Rydberg state of H2S.

    • Yarui Zhao
    • , Zijie Luo
    •  & Xueming Yang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    PMOs (phosphorodiamidate morpholino oligomers) have huge potential for antisense therapy but complex and slow synthesis limits application. Here, the authors report the development of automated flow synthesis methods which reduce nucleobase coupling times from hours to minutes removing human errors and allow for high-throughput production.

    • Chengxi Li
    • , Alex J. Callahan
    •  & Bradley L. Pentelute
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Toll-like receptor 8 (TLR8) plays essential roles in the innate immune response to viral single-stranded RNA (ssRNA), so small molecule modulators of TLR8 are of interest, however adverse effects limit their use. Here, the authors report a tetrasubstituted imidazole CU-CPD107 with dichotomous behaviour, which inhibits R848-induced TLR8 signaling, but shows synergistic activity in the presence of ssRNA, making it a potential antiviral agent.

    • Yi Yang
    • , Adam Csakai
    •  & Hang Yin
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Practical electrochemical N2 reduction reaction is challenged by competing side reactions. Here a combination of DFT and mikrokinetic modelling reveals the potential-dependent competition between electrochemical ammonia production and hydrogen evolution on a single-site iron catalyst embedded in N-doped graphene.

    • Changhyeok Choi
    • , Geun Ho Gu
    •  & Yousung Jung
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Transition metal-catalyzed regioselective difunctionalizations of alkenes with two different functional groups are useful for preparing organic compounds, but the construction of two new C–C bonds is challenging. Here, the authors report cobalt-catalyzed regioselective difluoroalkylarylation of alkenes with solid arylzinc pivalates and difluoroalkyl bromides, through a cascade Csp3 ‒Csp3/Csp3 ‒Csp2 bond formation.

    • Xinyi Cheng
    • , Xingchen Liu
    •  & Jie Li
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Photon upconversion with near-infrared excitation and ultraviolet emission has many applications, but suffers from low quantum efficiency. Here, the authors report a six-photon upconversion process in nanoparticles with heterogeneous core-multishell structure, that regulate the energy transfer pathway.

    • Qianqian Su
    • , Han-Lin Wei
    •  & Dayong Jin
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Identification of active sites of a catalyst is the Holy Grail in heterogeneous catalysis. Here, the authors successfully identify the CuCu(100)- hydroxylated ZnO ensemble and CuCu(611)Zn alloy as the active sites of Cu-ZnO catalysts for water gas shift and CO hydrogenation reactions, respectively.

    • Zhenhua Zhang
    • , Xuanye Chen
    •  & Weixin Huang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Late-stage C(sp3)-H bond functionalization of N-heterocycles with broad substrate scope remains a challenge and of particular significance to modern chemical synthesis and pharmaceutical chemistry. Here the authors show copper-catalysed late-stage C(sp3)-H functionalizaion of N-heterocycles using commercially available catalysts under mild reaction conditions.

    • Zhe Chang
    • , Jialin Huang
    •  & Depeng Zhao
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Germanium (Ge) has potential as a dopant suitable for the hematite-based photoelectrochemical water splitting system. Here, the authors report the fabrication of Ge doped porous hematite and demonstrate an efficient tandem system of Ge doped porous hematite and the perovskite solar cell.

    • Ki-Yong Yoon
    • , Juhyung Park
    •  & Ji-Hyun Jang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Adsorption is a fundamentally important process but challenging to quantify, especially at the nanoscale. Here, the authors map the adsorption affinity and cooperativity of various ligands on single gold nanoparticles and discover adsorption crossover behaviors between different facets, leading to a strategy to control particle shape.

    • Rong Ye
    • , Ming Zhao
    •  & Peng Chen
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The development of tissue-like materials which replicate the mechanical properties of tissue is of interest for a range of applications. Here, the authors report on the development of radial asters that form a gel network to stiffen in compression and soften in extension, resembling tissue mechanics.

    • Qingqiao Xie
    • , Yuandi Zhuang
    •  & Lingxiang Jiang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Finding durable, high-density media for data storage is necessary to support the ever-expanding generation of digital data. Here, the authors use peptide sequences to store digital data and retrieve them using tandem mass spectrometry, proving that peptides can be used as a storage medium.

    • Cheuk Chi A. Ng
    • , Wai Man Tam
    •  & Zhong-Ping Yao
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Up-conversion photoluminescence in colloidal quantum dots is generally believed to be mediated by thermal activation from defect states. Here, the authors reveal that highly-efficient up-conversion photoluminescence instead is related to electron-phonon coupling.

    • Zikang Ye
    • , Xing Lin
    •  & Xiaogang Peng
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Glass is indispensable but its processing options are limited. Here the authors extend origami techniques to shaping three-dimensional transparent glass by introducing physical cavitation and chemical dynamic bond exchange in the pre-glass polymer-silica nanocomposites.

    • Yang Xu
    • , Ye Li
    •  & Tao Xie
  • Article
    | Open Access

    2-(hetero)aryl N-heteroarenes are ubiquitously applied in numerous fields of science and useful for the development of bioactive molecules and drugs, but there is a lack of general methods for their synthesis. Here, the authors report an iridium(III)-catalyzed method for direct α-arylation of N-heteroarenes with aryl and heteroaryl boronic acids, by a H2O-mediated H2-evolution cross-coupling strategy.

    • Liang Cao
    • , He Zhao
    •  & Min Zhang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The capturing of high valent iron in a catalytic reaction is important but difficult task. Here, the authors report identification of a high-valent Fe(IV)-species with different spectroscopic tools such as Mössbauer spectroscopy and X-ray absorption spectroscopy during the course of an oxygen evolving reaction.

    • Nancy Li
    • , Ryan G. Hadt
    •  & Daniel G. Nocera
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Despite their great utility in synthetic and materials chemistry, Diels-Alder and retro Diels-Alder reactions have been vastly unexplored in promoting self-assembly processes. Here the authors show the release of steric bulkiness associated with a bridged bicyclic Diels Alder adduct by the retro Diels-Alder reaction that allowed generation of two building blocks that spontaneously self-assembled to form a supramolecular polymer.

    • Jaeyoung Park
    • , Jung-Moo Heo
    •  & Jong-Man Kim
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Nucleic acid-based constitutional dynamic networks (CDNs) enable control of various catalytic processes, but it is challenging to achieve intercommunication between different CDNs and by that mimic complex cell biology networks. Here, the authors report two CDNs that control the integration of photochemical and dark-operating processes, and show their intercommunication afforded by environmental components.

    • Chen Wang
    • , Michael P. O’Hagan
    •  & Itamar Willner
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Force sensing using mechanochromic polymers is currently limited to two state systems and does not allow directly correlating the force with the absorption or emission wavelength. Here, the authors present a mechanochromic donor-acceptor torsional spring that undergoes force-induced planarization during uniaxial elongation leading to force dependent red-shifted absorption and emission spectra.

    • Maximilian Raisch
    • , Wafa Maftuhin
    •  & Michael Sommer
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Prenylated indole alkaloids contain spirooxindole rings with a 3R or 3S carbon stereocenter, which determines their bioactivities, but the biocatalytic mechanism controlling the 3R- or 3S-spirooxindole formation was unclear. Here, the authors report the biochemical and structural characterization of the oxygenase/semipinacolase CtdE that catalyses the 3S-spirooxindole construction in the biosynthesis of 21R-citrinadin A.

    • Zhiwen Liu
    • , Fanglong Zhao
    •  & Xue Gao