Chemistry

  • Article |

    The partial oxidation of CH4 to CH3OH is challenging to perform in artificial systems due to ready over-oxidation to CO and CO2. Here by confining mono-iron hydroxyl sites in a metal–organic framework, photo-oxidation of CH4 to CH3OH is achieved with high selectivity and time yield.

    • Bing An
    • , Zhe Li
    •  & Martin Schröder
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Volatile organic compounds such as benzene are toxic pollutants that cause health issues even at trace concentrations. Here, a double-walled metal–organic framework is presented that demonstrates high uptake at very low pressures (<10 Pa), allowing the removal of benzene to below acceptable indoor limits.

    • Tao He
    • , Xiang-Jing Kong
    •  & Jian-Rong Li
  • Article |

    Wiring photosynthetic biomachineries to electrodes is promising for sustainable bio-electricity and fuel generation, but designing such interfaces is challenging. Aerosol jet printing is now used to generate hierarchical pillar array electrodes using indium tin oxide nanoparticles for high-performance semi-artificial photosynthesis.

    • Xiaolong Chen
    • , Joshua M. Lawrence
    •  & Jenny Z. Zhang
  • Article |

    The oxygen evolution reaction is central to making chemicals and energy carriers using electrons. Metal hydroxide–organic frameworks are shown to act as a tunable catalytic platform for oxygen evolution, with π–π interactions dictating stability and transition metals modulating activity.

    • Shuai Yuan
    • , Jiayu Peng
    •  & Yang Shao-Horn
  • Article |

    Lithium bis(trifluoromethanesulfonyl)imide is used as a conducting salt for rechargeable lithium metal batteries because of its stability, but corrosion with aluminium current collectors is an issue. A non-corrosive sulfonimide salt is shown to suppress anodic dissolution of an Al current collector at high potentials while improving cycling.

    • Lixin Qiao
    • , Uxue Oteo
    •  & Heng Zhang
  • Perspective |

    Molecular weaving is the entanglement of one-dimensional flexible molecules into higher-dimensional networks. This Perspective provides an overview of the progress so far, and discusses the future challenges and potentials of this field.

    • Zhi-Hui Zhang
    • , Björn J. Andreassen
    •  & Liang Zhang
  • Article |

    Although using proton (H+) conductors is attractive for energy applications, practical conductivity at intermediate temperatures (200–400 °C) remains a challenge. A K2NiF4-type Ba–Li oxyhydride is shown to exhibit a temperature-independent hydrogen conductivity of more than 0.01 S cm–1 above 315 °C.

    • Fumitaka Takeiri
    • , Akihiro Watanabe
    •  & Genki Kobayashi
  • Article |

    In anisotropically shaped photocatalyst particles different constituent facets may form inter-facet junctions at their adjoining edges. Using multimodal functional imaging, inter-facet junction effects on anisotropically shaped bismuth vanadate particles are revealed.

    • Xianwen Mao
    •  & Peng Chen
  • Article |

    Non-classical crystallization may proceed through formation of intermediate phases, but it is not known whether these are linked to the final crystallization. Here, using an atomic force microscope at 90 bar, brucite carbonation is directly observed, with an amorphous intermediate acting as the seed for crystalline nesquehonite.

    • Xin Zhang
    • , Alan S. Lea
    •  & Kevin M. Rosso
  • Article |

    Theoretical descriptors differentiate catalytic activity for oxygen evolution reaction by the strength of oxygen binding in the reactive intermediate created upon electron transfer. Picosecond optical spectra of the Ti-OH* population on doped SrTiO3 are now shown to be ordered by surface hydroxylation.

    • Ilya Vinogradov
    • , Suryansh Singh
    •  & Tanja Cuk
  • Review Article |

    Thermoelectric materials can generate energy from a heat differential. This Review provides an overview of mid- to high-temperature thermoelectrics, their application in modules, and the issues that need to be addressed to enable commercial implementation of state-of-the-art materials.

    • Qingyu Yan
    •  & Mercouri G. Kanatzidis
  • Article |

    The solvent-free conversion of phthalonitrile derivatives into phthalocyanines in the bulk is described, involving a reductive cyclotetramerization step and the formation of one-dimensional single-crystalline fibres. This solvent-free autocatalytic supramolecular polymerization may enable for a sustainable fabrication of multi-block supramolecular copolymers.

    • Zhen Chen
    • , Yukinaga Suzuki
    •  & Takuzo Aida
  • Article |

    Application of electromotive force between molten iron–carbon and slag is shown to decarburize iron. Electrorefining decarburizes by direct interfacial electrochemical reaction, resulting in low solubilized oxygen in iron, even at low carbon concentration.

    • William D. Judge
    • , Jaesuk Paeng
    •  & Gisele Azimi
  • Article |

    Nanostructured birnessite exhibits high specific capacitance and, while an important electrode material for high-power energy storage devices, its capacitive mechanism remains unclear. Capacitive charge storage in birnessite is now shown to be governed by interlayer cation intercalation.

    • Shelby Boyd
    • , Karthik Ganeshan
    •  & Veronica Augustyn
  • Article
    | Open Access

    SnSe has a very high thermoelectric figure of merit ZT, but uncommonly polycrystalline samples have higher lattice thermal conductivity than single crystals. Here, by controlling Sn reagent purity and removing SnOx impurities, a lower thermal conductivity is achieved, enabling ZT of 3.1 at 783 K.

    • Chongjian Zhou
    • , Yong Kyu Lee
    •  & In Chung
  • Review Article |

    Porous materials can selectively and reversibly adsorb large quantities of gas. This Review highlights progress made in using this class of materials for CO2 capture processes and discusses key gaps that the materials community can address to accelerate greater adoption of adsorptive carbon capture technologies.

    • Rebecca L. Siegelman
    • , Eugene J. Kim
    •  & Jeffrey R. Long
  • Article |

    Membrane distillation can use low-grade heat for salt water desalination, but the materials used can often suffer from limited permeance. Here, a strategy is proposed to construct a pore surface and size functionality gradient in a covalent organic framework, enabling a flux of 600 l m–2 h–1 with NaCl rejection of 99.99%.

    • Shuang Zhao
    • , Chenghao Jiang
    •  & Bo Wang
  • Article |

    Superionic conductors present liquid-like ionic diffusivity with applications ranging from energy storage to thermoelectrics. A two-dimensional type I superionic conductor α-KAg3Se2 is now reported and should help to design other materials with tailored ionic conductivities and phase transitions.

    • Alexander J. E. Rettie
    • , Jingxuan Ding
    •  & Mercouri G. Kanatzidis
  • Review Article |

    Metal-halide and oxide perovskites are a rich playground for fundamental studies and applications. This Review focuses on the opportunities opened by reducing the dimensionality of these materials to two-dimensional monolayers.

    • Antonio Gaetano Ricciardulli
    • , Sheng Yang
    •  & Michael Saliba
  • Article |

    Metal oxides or carbonaceous supported atomic metal sites coordinated by oxygen or heteroatoms exhibit enhanced electrocatalytic activity. Stabilization of single-atom catalysts on tungsten carbides without heteroatom coordination for efficient oxygen evolution reaction is demonstrated.

    • Shuang Li
    • , Bingbing Chen
    •  & Arne Thomas
  • Review Article |

    Materials simulations are now ubiquitous for explaining material properties. This Review discusses how machine-learned potentials break the limitations of system-size or accuracy, how active-learning will aid their development, how they are applied, and how they may become a more widely used approach.

    • Pascal Friederich
    • , Florian Häse
    •  & Alán Aspuru-Guzik
  • Letter |

    Nanomaterials may present interesting catalytic properties, but well-defined model systems are rare. Here, a Au–Pd core–shell catalyst is investigated for selective hydrogenation of butadiene, with shell-thickness-dependent catalytic activity, high selectivity and activity 50 times greater than that of alloyed counterparts.

    • Jessi E. S. van der Hoeven
    • , Jelena Jelic
    •  & Petra E. de Jongh
  • Perspective |

    Highly ordered crystalline porous solids are useful for many applications. This Perspective explores the evolution of these systems from the ordered state to the glassy and liquid states, discusses the different types of porous liquid and considers possible applications of these disordered systems.

    • Thomas D. Bennett
    • , François-Xavier Coudert
    •  & Andrew I. Cooper
  • Article |

    Pseudocapacitors exhibit charge-storage mechanisms leading to high-capacity and rapidly cycling devices. An organic system designed via molecular contortion is now shown to exhibit unprecedented electrochemical performance and stability.

    • Jake C. Russell
    • , Victoria A. Posey
    •  & Samuel R. Peurifoy
  • Article |

    Although bulk defects can influence the performance of electrocatalysts used for energy conversion, their structural origins are still unclear. The effects of bulk defects on CO2 electroreduction and H2 evolution activity on Au electrodes are now elucidated.

    • Ruperto G. Mariano
    • , Minkyung Kang
    •  & Matthew W. Kanan
  • Letter |

    A percolation theory of alloy passivation is developed accounting for selective dissolution and the quantity of metal dissolved during the primary passivation process, which provides a quantitative way for designing corrosion-resistant alloy compositions.

    • Yusi Xie
    • , Dorota M. Artymowicz
    •  & Karl Sieradzki