Exploiting the chirality of DNA

Elisabeth Ratcliffe writes about a hot ChemComm article for Chemistry World

Scientists in France and Germany have made use of DNA as part of a catalytic system for various enantioselective alkylations and addition reactions.

DNA has emerged as an innovative way of controlling the chirality of a reaction product; by binding catalysts in such a way that one enantiomer is preferentially generated. The chiral nature of the helix makes it ideal for asymmetric catalysis. However, this field of research is still in its infancy…


Read the full article in Chemistry World»

Read the original journal article in ChemComm – it’s free to access until 19th March:
DNA-cellulose: an economical, fully recyclable and highly effective chiral biomaterial for asymmetric catalysis
Erica Benedetti, Nicolas Duchemin, Lucas Bethge, Stefan Vonhoff, Sven Klussmann, Jean-Jacques Vasseur, Janine Cossy, Michael Smietana and Stellios Arseniyadis  
Chem. Commun., 2015, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C4CC10190A, Communication

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A sticky way to inspect self-cleaning glass

Anisha Ratan writes about a hot ChemComm article for Chemistry World

Reusable colour-changing sticky labels that act as a cheap and easy way to check the activity of photocatalysis-based self-cleaning glass have been designed by scientists in the UK.

Interest in self-cleaning technologies, including semiconductor photocatalysis (SPC), has been on the increase since the commercialisation of self-cleaning glass by Pilkington in 2001. However, SPC, a process by which light activation of a surface coating, usually titanium dioxide, facilitates the breakdown of organic dirt, is difficult to measure as most coatings are invisible to the eye.


Read the full article in Chemistry World»

Read the original journal article in ChemComm – it’s free to access until 12th March:
Smart, reusable labels for assessing self-cleaning films
A. Mills and N. Wells  
Chem. Commun., 2015, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C4CC09734C, Communication

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Graphene looks to doped superbenzene to overcome electronic hurdles

Jennifer Newton writes about a hot ChemComm article for Chemistry World

Building graphene from carefully-modified superbenzene segments has been proposed as a way to help graphene overcome a major stumbling block limiting its application in electronic devices – by opening its bandgap to make it a true semiconductor. 

Intrinsically, graphene is a semimetal with no bandgap. Boron nitride can afford graphene the electronic properties desired for atomically thin circuits. However, positioning these boron nitride-groups in just the right places to properly regulate electron flow through graphene is difficult. 

 


Read the full article in Chemistry World» 

Read the original article in ChemComm – it’s free to access until 11th March:
Synthesis, structure and properties of C3-symmetric heterosuperbenzene with three BN units
Xiao-Ye Wang, Fang-Dong Zhuang, Xin-Chang Wang, Xiao-Yu Cao, Jie-Yu Wang and Jian Pei  
Chem. Commun., 2015, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C4CC10105G, Communication

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Accessing Chiral Space with Visible Light

Guest web writer Tezcan Guney writes about a recently published Feature Article for the ChemComm blog:

Researchers have made tremendous efforts to unlock stereoselective, catalytic organic transformations. In this recent ChemComm Feature Article, Professor Eric Meggers, one of the pioneers in the field of photoredox catalysis, provides a comprehensive review of the recent advances in asymmetric catalysis driven by visible light.

Asymmetric catalysis has been one of the most attractive yet challenging areas of organic chemistry for the synthesis of unique, biologically active natural products such as Taxol, Rapamycin, or Vinblastine that possess numerous stereocenters.

C4CC09268F gaRecently, visible light, a sustainable and affordable energy resource, gained substantial interest with its capability to selectively access chiral molecules from prochiral substrates without undesirable by-products. Transformations including aldehyde α-functionalization and [2+2] cycloadditions demonstrate the potential of visible light in the presence of a photosensitizer.

These photosensitizers are typically ruthenium or iridium complexes that can facilitate electron/energy transfer upon photoinduction. In most cases, a photoredox catalyst has to be coupled with a chiral co-catalyst to introduce stereocenters in the products.

Notable advances in the Meggers, Melchiorre, and MacMillan research groups have recently demonstrated that photoactivation can be achieved with a single chiral photosensitizer to provide products of high enantiomeric excess and good yield.

This inspirational review was just published in Chemical Communications as a Feature Article. I recommend reading “Asymmetric catalysis activated by visible light” (DOI: 10.1039/c4cc09268f) by Professor Eric Meggers to learn more about the recent advances with mechanistic details and his forecast for one of the rapidly-growing research topics in organic chemistry.

This article is free to access until 17th March.* Download it here:
Asymmetric catalysis activated by visible light
Eric Meggers  
Chem. Commun., 2015, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C4CC09268F, Feature Article


Dr. Tezcan Guney is a guest web writer for Chemical Communications. Dr. Guney received his Ph.D. from the Department of Chemistry at Iowa State University with Prof. George Kraus, where he focused on the synthesis of biologically active polycyclic natural products and multifunctional imaging probes. Currently, he is a postdoctoral research scholar at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York with Prof. Derek Tan, contributing to the efforts to access biologically active small molecules using the diversity-oriented synthetic approach.

*Access is free through a registered RSC account

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Hot ChemComm articles for January

Here are some of the latest referee-recommended articles in ChemComm - all free to access for a  limited time:   

Multiplex plasmonic anti-counterfeiting security labels based on surface-enhanced Raman scattering
Yan Cui, In Yee Phang, Yih Hong Lee, Mian Rong Lee, Qi Zhang and Xing Yi Ling  
Chem. Commun., 2015, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C4CC08596E, Communication
From themed collection 2015 Emerging Investigators   

c4CC08596E ga   


A tale of two forces: simultaneous chemical and acoustic propulsion of bimetallic micromotors
Wei Wang, Wentao Duan, Zexin Zhang, Mei Sun, Ayusman Sen and Thomas E. Mallouk  
Chem. Commun., 2015,51, 1020-1023
DOI: 10.1039/C4CC09149C, Communication   

C4CC09149C ga   


Nanoparticle–blood interactions: the implications on solid tumour targeting
James Lazarovits, Yih Yang Chen, Edward A. Sykes and Warren C. W. Chan  
Chem. Commun., 2015, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C4CC07644C, Feature Article   

C4CC07644C ga   


Bulk graphdiyne powder applied for highly efficient lithium storage
Shengliang Zhang, Huibiao Liu, Changshui Huang, Guanglei Cui and Yuliang Li  
Chem. Commun., 2015,51, 1834-1837
DOI: 10.1039/C4CC08706B, Communication   

C4CC08706B ga   


Cascade catalysis – strategies and challenges en route to preparative synthetic biology
Jan Muschiol, Christin Peters, Nikolin Oberleitner, Marko Mihovilovic, Uwe Bornscheuer and Florian Rudroff  
Chem. Commun., 2014, Accepted Manuscript
DOI: 10.1039/C4CC08752F, Feature Article
From themed collection Directed Evolution   

 c4cc08752f-ga


Virus-like particles as virus substitutes to design artificial virus-recognition nanomaterials
Sabine Sykora, Alessandro Cumbo, Gaël Belliot, Pierre Pothier, Charlotte Arnal, Yves Dudal, Philippe F.-X. Corvini and Patrick Shahgaldian  
Chem. Commun., 2015, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C4CC08843C, Communication   

C4CC08843C ga   

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Super-dipoles linked to chloroform’s outstanding solvent properties

Melanie White writes about a hot ChemComm article for Chemistry World

Super-dipoles uncovered in chloroform by chemists in the UK could explain the solvent’s powerful ability to dissolve a large range of substances at high concentrations.

Chloroform is one chemistry’s most extensively used forms of liquid reaction media. However, as a suspected carcinogen, chloroform’s role in the extraction of natural products from plant materials, in NMR spectroscopy and as a reagent for chemical reactions underscores scientists’ aspirations to understand the science behind its remarkable properties.


Read the fulll article in Chemistry World»

Read the original journal article in ChemComm – it’s free to access until 25th February:
Polar stacking of molecules in liquid chloroform

J. J. Shephard, A. K. Soper, S. K. Callear, S. Imberti, J. S. O. Evans and C. G. Salzmann  
Chem. Commun., 2015, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C4CC09235J, Communication

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Meet our authors: an interview with Ruth Webster

Dr Ruth Webster is a researcher at the University of Bath

We are proud to introduce a new series of interviews in our ChemComm blog. We want you to know more about some of the early career investigators who choose to publish their exciting work with us.

The first in this series is Dr Ruth Webster, from the University of Bath. Read the full interview below.

———-

What inspired you to become a scientist?Ruth Webster

As a second year undergraduate, I did a summer placement at GSK in Harlow and absolutely loved being in the lab. Until that point, I really didn’t enjoy the labs as an undergraduate, but this showed me a different side to chemistry. I was working with some people that were brilliant lab chemists and seemed to love what they did. They were also immensely knowledgeable, which made me want to do a PhD.

Then, my fourth year of the five year MSci in Scotland was spent at the Rutherford Appleton Lab near Oxford, helping set-up lasers for visiting academics. Working with so many academics who were so passionate about what they did, working at the boundaries of what we know as scientists, made me realise that a) I was an awful laser chemist (!) and that I should stick to synthetic chemistry and b) I wanted to be an academic.

Follow us on Twitter!How did you find out about ChemComm?

I remember publishing my first ChemComm article during my PhD. This was the point when my supervisor said (words to the effect of): “That’s it, you’ve made it”, i.e. I had managed to get really good quality work that was going to get noticed and highly cited.

What was the motivation behind the work described in your article? What interested you in this area?

I originally started investigating metal interactions with bulky amides when I got my independent position at Bath, but unfortunately they weren’t behaving how I wanted them to behave, so I decided, having put a lot of effort into the bulky amides, to change tack slightly and look at turning some bulky analogues into polymers.

I’m not a polymer chemist, but did a little bit as a postdoc (also published in ChemComm!) and I enjoyed the challenge of figuring out what I had made. Most of the polymers in this paper are completely novel, so analysing them was not trivial, but when I had figured them out it was awesome! I also had some help from Dr Mark Wyatt at the EPSRC NMSF, whose expertise with MALDI-ToF analysis was invaluable.

I remember publishing my first ChemComm article during my PhD. This was the point when my supervisor said… That’s it, you’ve made it.

Dr Ruth Webster, University of Bath

Why did you choose ChemComm to publish your work?

I knew the work was good and novel –I knew it was worthy of being published in ChemComm. I also wanted it to go to a general journal because I feel the transformation itself is interesting to more than just polymer chemists.

Where do you see your research heading next?

We published a really nice piece of iron catalysis in ChemComm about a month after this polymer paper; I love catalysis, so a lot of our research is in this area. We also noticed ligation of the malonamide to copper during the RSC Research Fund work and I was lucky enough to get an RSC Summer Studentship, so we investigated the use of the malonamide as a ligand in copper catalysis. I’m hoping to publish that work soon before expanding our efforts in that area.

If you could not be a scientist, but could be anything else, what would you be?

I got accepted into Art College when I was at secondary school, but went for the Chemistry degree, so I really would have liked to have been a visual artist of some sort. Although I don’t know how much I like the subjectivity of art –at least with science you tend to be either right or wrong!

———-

Did you enjoy Ruth’s story, or do you have your own memorable story about your first ChemComm paper? Tweet us @ChemCommun (#meetCCauthors) or reply in the comments below!

ChemComm fully supports researchers in the early stage of their careers, and remains the leading journal for urgent high-quality communications from across the chemical sciences.

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Organic synthons yield hyperbranched crop

Jennifer Newton writes about a hot ChemComm article for Chemistry World

Resembling a bundle of cereal stalks, this atomic force microscopy (AFM) image depicts the first ionic organic nanocrystals to have a sheaf-like structure. Ursula Mazur, of Washington State University, US, and colleagues grew the π-conjugated molecules from two electroactive porphyrin synthons: tetra(4-aminophenyl)porphyrin and tetra(4-sulfonatophenyl)porphyrin. These building blocks assembled themselves into branched structures – the higher the reaction temperature the longer and more numerous their branches.


Read the full article in Chemistry World»

Read the original journal article in ChemComm:
Hyperbranched Crystalline Nanostructure Produced from Ionic π-Conjugated Molecules
Ursula Mazur , K W Hipps, Jeremy R. Eskelsen and Kara J Phillips Chem. Commun., 2014, Accepted Manuscript
DOI: 10.1039/C4CC09288K, Communication

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Top 25 ChemComm articles for July–September 2014

We are delighted to share with you the top 25 most downloaded articles in Chemical Communications (ChemComm) from July–September 2014.

Alzheimer’s disease amyloid beta converting left-handed Z-DNA back to right-handed B-form
Jie Geng, Chuanqi Zhao, Jinsong Ren and Xiaogang Qu
DOI: 10.1039/C0CC02049D, Communication

Fabricating graphene supercapacitors: highlighting the impact of surfactants and moieties
Dale A. C. Brownson and Craig E. Banks
DOI: 10.1039/C1CC11276G, Communication
From themed collection Emerging Investigators 2012

Two-dimensional layered composite photocatalysts
Jingxiang Low, Shaowen Cao, Jiaguo Yu and Swelm Wageh
DOI: 10.1039/C4CC02553A, Feature Article

Highly plasmon-enhanced upconversion emissions from Au@β-NaYF4:Yb,Tm hybrid nanostructures
Ning Liu, Weiping Qin, Guanshi Qin, Tao Jiang and Dan Zhao
DOI: 10.1039/C1CC11179E, Communication

A hydrophobic hole transporting oligothiophene for planar perovskite solar cells with improved stability
Lingling Zheng, Yao-Hsien Chung, Yingzhuang Ma, Lipei Zhang, Lixin Xiao, Zhijian Chen, Shufeng Wang, Bo Qu and Qihuang Gong
DOI: 10.1039/C4CC04680C, Communication

A rapid synthesis of high aspect ratio copper nanowires for high-performance transparent conducting films
Shengrong Ye, Aaron R. Rathmell, Ian E. Stewart, Yoon-Cheol Ha, Adria R. Wilson, Zuofeng Chen and Benjamin J. Wiley
DOI: 10.1039/C3CC48561G, Communication

Star-shaped hole transporting materials with a triazine unit for efficient perovskite solar cells
Kwangseok Do, Hyeju Choi, Kimin Lim, Hyunjun Jo, Jin Woo Cho, Mohammad K. Nazeeruddin and Jaejung Ko
DOI: 10.1039/C4CC04550E, Communication

Incorporation of iron hydrogenase active sites into a highly stable metal–organic framework for photocatalytic hydrogen generation
Koroush Sasan, Qipu Lin, ChengYu Mao and Pingyun Feng
DOI: 10.1039/C4CC03946G, Communication

Electrochemical activation of carbon dioxide in ionic liquid: synthesis of cyclic carbonates at mild reaction conditions
Hongzhou Yang, Yanlong Gu, Youquan Deng and Feng Shi
DOI: 10.1039/B108451H, Communication

A quick, simple, robust method to measure the acidity of ionic liquids
John Gräsvik, Jason P. Hallett, Trang Quynh To and Tom Welton
DOI: 10.1039/C4CC02816C, Communication

Modulating DNA-templated silver nanoclusters for fluorescence turn-on detection of thiol compounds
Zhengzhen Huang, Fang Pu, Youhui Lin, Jinsong Ren and Xiaogang Qu
DOI: 10.1039/C0CC05651K, Communication

CH3NH3PbI(3−x)(BF4)x: molecular ion substituted hybrid perovskite
Satyawan Nagane, Umesh Bansode, Onkar Game, Shraddha Chhatre and Satishchandra Ogale
DOI: 10.1039/C4CC04537H, Communication

Fluorescent probes for hydrogen sulfide detection and bioimaging
Fabiao Yu, Xiaoyue Han and Lingxin Chen
DOI: 10.1039/C4CC03312D, Feature Article

Synthesis of 1,2-amino alcohols via catalytic C–H amidation of sp3 methyl C–H bonds

Taek Kang, Heejeong Kim, Jeung Gon Kim and Sukbok Chang
DOI: 10.1039/C4CC05655H, Communication

Synthesis and characterization of multi-helical DNA–silica fibers
Yuanyuan Cao, Junjie Xie, Ben Liu, Lu Han and Shunai Che
DOI: 10.1039/C2CC37470F, Communication

Recent advances in the catalytic asymmetric 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition of azomethine ylides
Javier Adrio and Juan C. Carretero
DOI: 10.1039/C4CC04381B, Feature Article

Wet chemical synthesis of silver nanorods and nanowires of controllable aspect ratio
Nikhil R. Jana, Latha Gearheart and Catherine J. Murphy
DOI: 10.1039/B100521I, Communication

A metal free domino synthesis of 3-aroylindoles via two sp3 C–H activation
Anupal Gogoi, Anju Modi, Srimanta Guin, Saroj Kumar Rout, Debapratim Das and Bhisma K. Patel
DOI: 10.1039/C4CC04407J, Communication

Self-assembly of supramolecularly engineered polymers and their biomedical applications
Dali Wang, Gangsheng Tong, Ruijiao Dong, Yongfeng Zhou, Jian Shen and Xinyuan Zhu
DOI: 10.1039/C4CC03155E, Feature Article
From themed collection Polymer Self-Assembly

Nitrogen-centered radical-mediated C–H imidation of arenes and heteroarenes via visible light induced photocatalysis
Hyejin Kim, Taehoon Kim, Dong Gil Lee, Sang Weon Roh and Chulbom Lee
DOI: 10.1039/C4CC03905J, Communication

Visible light-promoted metal-free sp3-C–H fluorination
Ji-Bao Xia, Chen Zhu and Chuo Chen
DOI: 10.1039/C4CC05650G, Communication

Cu-Catalyzed Suzuki–Miyaura reactions of primary and secondary benzyl halides with arylboronates
Yan-Yan Sun, Jun Yi, Xi Lu, Zhen-Qi Zhang, Bin Xiao and Yao Fu
DOI: 10.1039/C4CC05376A, Communication

Nanostructured electrochromic smart windows: traditional materials and NIR-selective plasmonic nanocrystals

Evan L. Runnerstrom, Anna Llordés, Sebastien D. Lounis and Delia J. Milliron
DOI: 10.1039/C4CC03109A, Feature Article

Are Zr6-based MOFs water stable? Linker hydrolysis vs. capillary-force-driven channel collapse
Joseph E. Mondloch, Michael J. Katz, Nora Planas, David Semrouni, Laura Gagliardi, Joseph T. Hupp and Omar K. Farha
DOI: 10.1039/C4CC02401J, Communication

Graphene quantum dots: emergent nanolights for bioimaging, sensors, catalysis and photovoltaic devices
Jianhua Shen, Yihua Zhu, Xiaoling Yang and Chunzhong Li
DOI: 10.1039/C2CC00110A, Feature Article


ChemComm is the home of urgent high quality communications from across the chemical sciences. With a world renowned reputation for quality and fast times to publication (average of 40 days), ChemComm is the ideal place to publish your research.

Submit your urgent research to ChemComm today!

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σ meets π for a hole lot of bonding

Jason Woolford writes about a hot ChemComm article for Chemistry World

Researchers in India have provided experimental verification that a co-operative σ-hole and π-hole are responsible for holding the molecules of an isothiocyanate based peptide together in its crystal lattice, showcasing the importance of weak, but highly directional interactions in structure–activity relationships.

Understanding weak intermolecular interactions, like hydrogen bonding, π-stacking and ion– π -interactions, is vital to probing the relationship between structure and properties for pharmaceutically important molecules such as highly reactive organic isothiocyanates, which display anti-carcinogenic activity.


Read the full article in Chemistry World»

Read the original journal article in ChemComm – it’s free to download until 21st January 2015:

Observation of a reversible isomorphous phase transition and an interplay of “σ-holes” and “π-holes” in Fmoc-Leu-ψ[CH2-NCS]
Rumpa Pal, Govindappa Nagendra, M. Samarasimhareddy, Vommina V. Sureshbabu and Tayur N. Guru Row
Chem. Commun., 2015,51, 933-936
DOI: 10.1039/C4CC08751H, Communication

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