• Article |

    Chemical experiments on californium are stymied by isotope availability and radioactivity considerations, but are advanced here with synthesis and characterization of an organometallic complex.

    • Conrad A. P. Goodwin
    • , Jing Su
    •  & Joseph W. Ziller
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Propene is obtained through propane dehydrogenation using catalysts that are toxic, expensive or demanding to regenerate with ecologically harmful compounds, but the ZnO-based alternative reported here is cheap, clean and scalable.

    • Dan Zhao
    • , Xinxin Tian
    •  & Evgenii V. Kondratenko
  • Article |

    Serial femtosecond crystallography (SFX) has provided significant understanding of time-resolved processes of various systems in biology, for example, rhodopsin, which underlies our vision. The approach involves femtosecond-length X-ray pulses directed at protein crystals and has been used to study various photoactive proteins. However, the function of proteins such as rhodopsin requires transcis isomerization of a chromophore, which involves crossing of a conical intersection—a funnel separating potential energy surfaces—at timescales faster than what can be achieved experimentally. Here, Ourmazd and colleagues report a machine learning analysis of SFX data of photoactive yellow protein, which resolves the protein passing through a conical intersection, providing information about the potential energy surfaces involved and achieving time resolution of less than 10 fs. This approach offers an opportunity to understand some of the fastest processes in biology by extracting even more information from SFX datasets.

    • A. Hosseinizadeh
    • , N. Breckwoldt
    •  & A. Ourmazd
  • Article |

    By coordinating copper ions with the oxygen-containing groups of cellulose nanofibrils, the molecular spacing in the nanofibrils is increased, allowing fast transport of lithium ions and offering hopes for solid-state batteries.

    • Chunpeng Yang
    • , Qisheng Wu
    •  & Liangbing Hu
  • Article |

    Using scanning tunnelling microscopy and spectroscopy, fractional edge excitations are observed in nanographene spin chains, enabling the potential to study strongly correlated phases in purely organic materials.

    • Shantanu Mishra
    • , Gonçalo Catarina
    •  & Roman Fasel
  • Article |

    A lead-optimization strategy combining porin permeation properties and biochemical potency leads to development of a new class of antibiotic based on broad inhibition of penicillin-binding proteins from Gram-negative bacteria.

    • Thomas F. Durand-Reville
    • , Alita A. Miller
    •  & Ruben A. Tommasi
  • Article |

    Enantioselective supramolecular recognition allows for the asymmetric synthesis of nitrogen stereocentres, providing chiral ammonium cations in a dynamic crystallization process.

    • Mark P. Walsh
    • , Joseph M. Phelps
    •  & Matthew O. Kitching
  • Article |

    A metallaphotoredox-based cross-coupling platform is capable of activating a wide range of free alcohols using N-heterocyclic carbene salts, cleaving C–O bonds to form free carbon radicals that are then used to form new C–C bonds.

    • Zhe Dong
    •  & David W. C. MacMillan
  • Article |

    Liquid ultrafast electron scattering measures structural responses in liquid water with femtosecond temporal and atomic spatial resolution to reveal a transient hydrogen bond contraction then thermalization preceding relaxation of the OH stretch.

    • Jie Yang
    • , Riccardo Dettori
    •  & Xijie Wang
  • Article |

    Model patchy colloids with directional bonding are designed that assemble into icosahedral quasicrystals through the propagation of an icosahedral network of bonds and may be realized using DNA origami particles.

    • Eva G. Noya
    • , Chak Kui Wong
    •  & Jonathan P. K. Doye
  • Article |

    Optical imaging of single-molecule electrochemical reactions in aqueous solution enables super-resolution electrochemiluminescence microscopy, which can be used to monitor the adhesion dynamics of live cells with high spatiotemporal resolution.

    • Jinrun Dong
    • , Yuxian Lu
    •  & Jiandong Feng
  • Article |

    Spectroscopic measurements confirm that when water is adsorbed on drops of an alkali alloy at low pressure a gold-coloured metallic layer forms as electrons rapidly move from the drop into the water.

    • Philip E. Mason
    • , H. Christian Schewe
    •  & Pavel Jungwirth
  • Article |

    Common aromatic rings, such as anilines, arylboronic acids and aryl halides, can be opened up and converted to alkenyl nitriles through carbon–carbon bond cleavage using a copper catalyst.

    • Xu Qiu
    • , Yueqian Sang
    •  & Ning Jiao
  • Article |

    A molecular-scale pump whose operation is driven by a catalytic process when in the presence of chemical fuel is autonomous, within an operating window, as long as the fuel lasts.

    • Shuntaro Amano
    • , Stephen D. P. Fielden
    •  & David A. Leigh
  • Article |

    The dynamics of ions within a working lithium-ion battery are examined using optical interferometric scattering microscopy, which allows ion transport to be related to phase transitions and microstructural features.

    • Alice J. Merryweather
    • , Christoph Schnedermann
    •  & Akshay Rao
  • Article |

    Cryptochrome 4 from the night-migratory European robin displays magnetically sensitive photochemistry in vitro, in which four successive flavin–tryptophan radical pairs generate magnetic-field effects and stabilize potential signalling states.

    • Jingjing Xu
    • , Lauren E. Jarocha
    •  & P. J. Hore
  • Article |

    Ligand-protected gold nanoclusters are engineered to form complex arrangements of double and quadruple helices, which are based on the pairing of motifs on neighbouring enantiomers, akin to the base pairing seen in DNA double helices.

    • Yingwei Li
    • , Meng Zhou
    •  & Rongchao Jin
  • Article |

    Experimental measurements of vibrational sum-frequency generation spectra indicate that the dielectric response of water near an electrode may be strongly asymmetric, with different responses to positive and negative electrode charge.

    • Angelo Montenegro
    • , Chayan Dutta
    •  & Alexander V. Benderskii
  • Article |

    Selective borylation of azines—nitrogen-containing aromatic heterocycles used in the synthesis of many pharmaceuticals—is made possible by forming a radical from an aminoborane using a photocatalyst.

    • Ji Hye Kim
    • , Timothée Constantin
    •  & Daniele Leonori
  • Article |

    Nitrogen is ‘deleted’ from secondary amines using anomeric amide reagents, which react with the amine to form an isodiazene, after which nitrogen gas is released and the resulting carbon radicals combine to form a carbon–carbon bond.

    • Sean H. Kennedy
    • , Balu D. Dherange
    •  & Mark D. Levin
  • Article |

    Mapping the operational chemical, physical and electronic structure of an oxygen evolution electrocatalyst at the nanoscale links the properties of the material with the observed oxygen evolution activity.

    • J. Tyler Mefford
    • , Andrew R. Akbashev
    •  & William C. Chueh
  • Article |

    An environmentally friendly, all-organic radical battery is demonstrated, in which redox-active polypeptides perform as both cathode and anode materials, with a metal-free organic electrolyte.

    • Tan P. Nguyen
    • , Alexandra D. Easley
    •  & Karen L. Wooley
  • Article |

    Strongly reducing β-diketiminate complexes containing magnesium in its zero oxidation state are reported, among which is a compound with a linear triatomic Mg–Mg–Mg core.

    • B. Rösch
    • , T. X. Gentner
    •  & S. Harder
  • Article |

    A diversity-oriented synthesis approach that yields a library of architecturally broad microporous polymers is used to develop structurally diverse polymer membranes with ion specificity and to screen their properties.

    • Miranda J. Baran
    • , Mark E. Carrington
    •  & Brett A. Helms
  • Article |

    Highly active but durable perovskite-based solid oxide fuel cell cathodes are realized using a thermal-expansion offset, achieving full thermo-mechanical compatibility between the cathode and other cell components.

    • Yuan Zhang
    • , Bin Chen
    •  & Zongping Shao
  • Article |

    The binding of multidentate ligands to the surface of lead halide perovskite nanocrystals suppresses the formation of surface defects that result in halide segregation, yielding materials with efficient and colour-stable red emission.

    • Yasser Hassan
    • , Jong Hyun Park
    •  & Henry J. Snaith
  • Article |

    An improved device design for perovskite-based photovoltaic cells enables a certified power conversion efficiency of 25.2 per cent, translating to 80.5 per cent of the thermodynamic limit for its bandgap, which approaches those achieved by silicon solar cells.

    • Jason J. Yoo
    • , Gabkyung Seo
    •  & Jangwon Seo
  • Article |

    Polycarbonates and polyesters with materials properties like those of high-density polyethylene can be recycled chemically by depolymerization to their constituent monomers, re-polymerization yielding material with uncompromised processing and materials properties.

    • Manuel Häußler
    • , Marcel Eck
    •  & Stefan Mecking
  • Article |

    Frank–Kasper phases are observed in small organic molecules from the crystallization of fampridine hydrochloride into two distinct structures, indicating that complex self-assembled structures can arise from simple organic salts.

    • Riccardo Montis
    • , Luca Fusaro
    •  & A. David Rae
  • Article |

    An einsteinium coordination complex is synthesized and spectroscopically characterized using less than 200 nanograms of einsteinium, enabling examination of its structure and measurement of an einsteinium bond distance.

    • Korey P. Carter
    • , Katherine M. Shield
    •  & Rebecca J. Abergel