Organic chemistry

Organic chemistry is the study of the synthesis, structure, reactivity and properties of the diverse group of chemical compounds primarily constructed of carbon. All life on earth is carbon-based, thus organic chemistry is also the basis of biochemistry. The ability to form compounds containing long chains of carbon atoms is the basis of polymer chemistry.

Latest Research and Reviews

  • Research
    | Open Access

    To address the shortcomings in the application of bioactive peptides as drugs, incorporation of unnatural amino acids (UAAs) has been used. Here, the authors report an ionic compound-promoted C-N cleavage of alkyl pyridinium to generate alkyl radicals upon excitation by visible light, and apply it for deaminative hydroalkylation of alkenes to synthesise diverse β-alkyl substituted UAAs.

    • Mengran Wang
    • , Chao Wang
    •  & Zhaoqing Xu
  • Research |

    The contributions of chirality and conformation as contributing factors to the biological properties of synthetic nanomaterials remain underexplored. A synthesis of bottlebrush polymers with mirror-image side chains has now been developed and it has been revealed that an interplay between side-chain absolute configuration and flexibility influences the biological properties of these polymers both in vitro and in vivo.

    • Hung V.-T. Nguyen
    • , Yivan Jiang
    •  & Jeremiah A. Johnson
  • Research
    | Open Access

    Stereocontrol of C–O bond formation from a carbon-based radical is very difficult due to the rapid inversion of the carbon radical. Here the authors present a method to form chiral esters from conjugated dienes with copper and chiral PyBox ligands, likely proceeding via an allylic radical.

    • Xiaotao Zhu
    • , Wujun Jian
    •  & Hongli Bao
  • Reviews |

    Material characterization by powder diffraction gives quantitative and qualitative insights into the phases present in a specimen. This Primer describes the key considerations during powder diffraction analysis, from data collection and specimen preparation to phase identification and structure solution.

    • James A. Kaduk
    • , Simon J. L. Billinge
    •  & Daniel Chateigner
  • Reviews |

    Over the past decade, advances in azobenzenes have revolutionized their application potential, going beyond traditional uses as dyes and ultraviolet photoswitches. This Review describes breakthroughs in the development of red-light-photoswitchable azobenzenes and emerging applications in photopharmacology, photoswitchable adhesives and biodegradable systems for drug delivery.

    • Florica Adriana Jerca
    • , Valentin Victor Jerca
    •  & Richard Hoogenboom

News and Comment

  • Research Highlights |

    A silicon-linker that tethers a diyne and a diynophile provides new mechanistic insight and control of hexadehydro-Diels–Alder (HDDA) reactions.

    • Colette Whitfield
  • News & Views |

    Diazoolefins are long-sought-after compounds, but experimental evidence for them is limited because of their high reactivity. Now, it has been shown that the reaction of N-heterocyclic olefins with nitrous oxide provides access to diazoolefins, enabling structural characterization and applications in organometallic and synthetic chemistry.

    • Claire Empel
    •  & Rene M. Koenigs
    Nature Chemistry 13, 1030-1032
  • Research Highlights |

    A geometrically constrained phosphine bearing a tridentate NNS pincer ligand can afford thermoneutral activation of N−H in ammonia.

    • Stacey-Lynn Paiva
  • News & Views |

    Methods for the synthesis of bicyclo[1.1.1]pentanes (BCPs) typically rely on the release of strain energy, but these routes cannot easily introduce substituents on the BCP bridges. Now, an intramolecular coupling gives access to multi-substituted BCPs, through the synthesis of bridge-substituted bicycloalkyl boronic esters.

    • Cara E. Brocklehurst
    •  & Edward A. Anderson
    Nature Chemistry 13, 928-930
  • Research Highlights |

    Homochiral porous cage-in-cage structures that self-assemble from lanthanide cations and chiral amino acid-derived ligands have been prepared and shown to be highly effective in enantioselective separations of small-molecule guests.

    • Peter W. Seavill