Volume 6

  • No. 6 June 2022

    Artificial molecular systems provide minimalistic platforms to uncover how purposeful movement can emerge in water out of the rules of molecular chemistry. In lipid water, gradients of interfacial tension can sustain the chemotactic movement of droplets. Such droplets can adapt their motile behavior to environmental cues such as chemicals and light, and in the presence of chemical reactivity. The cover image highlights the generation of such a droplet and its movement. See D. Babu, N. Katsonis, F. Lancia, R. Plamont & A. Ryabchun

  • No. 5 May 2022

    C–N bonds are ubiquitous in societally important commodity and fine chemicals, but the thermochemical routes used to manufacture these compounds are a major contributor to global carbon emissions. Heterogeneous electrocatalysis could potentially drive the formation of these important products using renewable electricity and abundant starting materials, thus reducing the carbon footprint of their production. The cover image shows CO2 and NH3 reactants coupling on the surface of a copper nanoparticle catalyst to form amide products. See Li, Zhang, Kuruvinashetti and Kornienko

  • No. 4 April 2022

    In photocatalytic hydrogen production, solar radiation produces electrons and holes in a photocatalyst. The rate determining step in the reaction though is the hole-mediated oxidation of water and many holes are wasted. Avoiding this waste — and the associated chemical effects — is the key to optimizing this important reaction and boosting solar hydrogen production rates. See Rahman, Edvinsson, and Gascon.

  • No. 3 March 2022

    Attempts to dissect the biological origins of secondary metabolites and develop biomimetic natural product syntheses frequently result in anticipated natural product structures – compounds that, when first envisaged, are unknown but are later isolated from natural sources. The cover image draws an analogy between such natural product anticipation and the famous prediction, by Dmitri Mendeleev, of the existence of gallium and germanium and their isolation nearly two decades later. See Hetzler et al.

  • No. 2 February 2022

    The active site of a heterogeneous catalyst is a nebulous concept. Traditionally, there are two major schools of thought in understanding active sites: the Langmuir approach which considers a monolayer of reacting molecules on a 2D surface with active sites like a chequerboard. The Taylor approach considers that there are a variety of sites and not all will be equally active. A review of catalysis research since their lifetimes leads to the 3D chess analogy. See Vogt and Weckhuysen.

  • No. 1 January 2022

    A large majority of studies on metal–organic framework (MOF) materials focus on their equilibrium or steady state properties. Studying the changes that occur over time during MOF formation, guest motion, electron motion and framework motion is essential if many of the proposed applications of MOFs are to be realized. See Cerasale et al.