Kinetic competition in cathode synthesis

Kinetic competition between precursor decomposition and lithiation leads to spatially heterogeneous intermediates and the formation of detrimental defects in nickel-rich layered oxides.


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

    The 2021 Nobel Prize in Chemistry has been awarded to Benjamin List and David MacMillan for the development of asymmetric organocatalysis. In recognition of this award, Nature Portfolio presents a collection of research, review and opinion articles that focus on the origins, the development and the future directions inspired by the topic.

  • Nature Synthesis is open for submissions of original research articles. The journal will publish research, reviews and opinion articles on chemical and materials synthesis as well as enabling technological innovations.

  • COVID-19 and impact on peer review

    The COVID-19 pandemic is causing significant disruption and we are very aware that many researchers will have difficulty in meeting the standard timelines for our peer-review process. Please let us know if you need additional time. Our systems will continue to remind you of the original deadlines but we will be highly flexible as required.

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.


  • Nucleotides are essential to the origins of life, and their synthesis is a key challenge for prebiotic chemistry. Contrary to prior expectation, non-canonical 3′-amino-TNA nucleosides are shown to be synthesized diastereoselectively and regiospecifically under prebiotically plausible conditions. The enhanced reactivity of 3′-amino-TNAs also promotes their selective non-enzymatic triphosphorylation in water.

    • Daniel Whitaker
    • Matthew W. Powner
  • The biochemical roles and mechanisms of multiphase membraneless organelles are not yet well understood. Now, multiphase peptide droplets have been shown to sort RNA based on whether it is single- or double-stranded, as well as impact RNA duplexation through in-droplet thermodynamic equilibria. This work provides insight into possible primitive mechanisms for multicompartment intracellular condensates and can aid in the design of functional artificial membraneless organelles.

    • Saehyun Choi
    • McCauley O. Meyer
    • Christine D. Keating
  • Ions in salt solutions perturb the hydrogen bonding between the surrounding water molecules, altering the properties of water, but how ion polarity affects this is not fully understood. By monitoring the dissipation of terahertz energy in salt solutions, it has now been shown that intermolecular rotational-to-translational energy transfer is enhanced by highly charged cations and reduced by highly charged anions.

    • Vasileios Balos
    • Naveen Kumar Kaliannan
    • Mohsen Sajadi
    Article Open Access
  • Despite mechanically axially chiral (MAC) catenanes being recognized in 1961, their stereoselective synthesis had not been disclosed until now. Closer inspection of the MAC stereogenic unit has also led to the identification of an analogous, but unremarked upon, form of rotaxane stereochemistry and the conceptualization of a general approach to prepare MAC molecules stereoselectively.

    • John R. J. Maynard
    • Peter Gallagher
    • Stephen M. Goldup
  • The strained topology of [n]paracyclophenylenes ([n]CPPs) typically prevents their π sysytem from being extended, but now the formation of a planar π-extended CPP has been achieved through a bottom-up on-surface synthesis approach. The planar π-extended [12]CPP produced by this method is a nanographene featuring an all-armchair edge, which leads to delocalized electronic states around the entire ring.

    • Feifei Xiang
    • Sven Maisel
    • Sabine Maier
  • The direct copolymerization of carbon dioxide and commodity olefins has been a long-standing challenge in polymer science. Now, an indirect approach has been developed in which hydrogenated disubstituted valerolactones derived from telomerization of CO2 and butadiene can undergo ring-opening polymerization, yielding chemically recyclable and degradable aliphatic polyesters with high CO2 content.

    • Rachel M. Rapagnani
    • Rachel J. Dunscomb
    • Ian A. Tonks
    • Photoredox catalysts offer a promising approach to performing reactions with high energetic requirements, however, the influence of solvent and counter ions is not fully understood. Now, a microwave-based technique is shown to give direct insight into their effects on charge reorganization during catalysis.

      • Ferdinand C. Grozema
      News & Views
    • Amino-containing four-carbon threose nucleic acids (TNAs) have long been considered to be prebiotically irrelevant due to their difficult formation. Now, a prebiotically plausible route to 3′-amino-TNA nucleoside triphosphate has been developed, raising the possibility of 3′-amino-TNA as a non-canonical nucleic acid during the origin of life.

      • Yingyu Liu
      • Yajun Wang
      News & Views
    • This year marks the 50th anniversary of Baird’s rules of aromaticity — a set of perturbational molecular orbital theory analyses that has garnered considerable attention in the past ten years in light of its many real-world applications in photochemistry.

      • Lucas J. Karas
      • Judy I. Wu
      News & Views
    • Over the past 25 years, the photo-induced spin-crossover behaviour of Fe(II) complexes has puzzled scientists. Now, a symmetry-breaking twisting mode has been observed during the relaxation of such a complex. Controlling its configuration using enantiopure counterions has also been shown to slow down the relaxation.

      • J. Olof Johansson
      News & Views
    • Antibody-mediated delivery of therapeutics has been primarily limited to agents containing amine, alcohol or thiol functional groups. Now, an approach has been developed to create stable and bio-reversible prodrugs that mask ortho-quinones. Drug release requires both protease activation followed by acid-assisted elimination.

      • Thomas Pillow
      News & Views
  • Choline 2-hexenoate is an ionic compound that is a liquid at room temperature, and is just one of a class of compounds that have huge potential in biomedical research and clinical applications, explains Eden E. L. Tanner.

    • Eden E. L. Tanner
    In Your Element
  • Michelle Francl explores how glass revolutionized chemistry.

    • Michelle Francl
  • The tris(2,2′-bipyridine)ruthenium(II) cation, or ‘rubipy’ to its friends, has had a significant influence on our understanding of the photophysics of transition metal complexes, and has also helped revolutionize organic photochemistry, explains Daniela M. Arias-Rotondo.

    • Daniela M. Arias-Rotondo
    In Your Element
  • In early 2020, Shira Joudan was in the final stages of her PhD when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Despite the challenging circumstances, she graduated, found a postdoc position and will begin her independent academic career in early 2023.

    • Shira Joudan
  • In 1931, Erich Hückel published a landmark paper — the seed of the now famous 4n + 2 rule for aromaticity in annulenes that bears his name. Electron counting has since been extended to other classes of compounds, resulting in a multitude of rules aiming to capture the concept of aromaticity and its impact in chemistry.

    • Miquel Solà
  • In 2017 Professor Frances S. Ligler was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame for her inventions in portable optical biosensors. Professor Ligler now talks to Nature Chemistry about the challenge of developing new sensor designs into reliable products, and some of the pitfalls to avoid in the development process.

    • Russell Johnson

Nature Careers