Welcome to issue 7 of Materials Chemistry Frontiers!

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The latest  MaterChemFront issue is published online.

The front cover story, Multifunctional silica nanoparticles as a promising theranostic platform for biomedical applications is contributed by Zhigang Xu, Xiaoqian Ma, Yong-E. Gao, Meili Hou, Peng Xue, Chang Ming Li and Yuejun Kang.

Following review type articles are included in current issue:

Application of ionic liquids for dissolving cellulose and fabricating cellulose-based materials: state of the art and future trends
Jinming Zhang, Jin Wu, Jian Yu, Xiaoyu Zhang, Jiasong He and Jun Zhang
Mater. Chem. Front., 2017,1, 1273-1290
http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/C6QM00348F

New developments in non-fullerene small molecule acceptors for polymer solar cells
Ningning Liang, Wei Jiang, Jianhui Hou and Zhaohui Wang
Mater. Chem. Front., 2017,1, 1291-1303
http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/C6QM00247A

The ‘folklore’ and reality of reticular chemistry
Kyle E. Cordova and Omar M. Yaghi
Mater. Chem. Front., 2017,1, 1304-1309
http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/C7QM00144D

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Welcome to issue 6 of Materials Chemistry Frontiers!

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The latest  MaterChemFront issue is published online.

The front cover story, Non-conjugated fluorescent molecular cages of salicylaldehyde-based tri-Schiff bases: AIE, enantiomers, mechanochromism, anion hosts/probes, and cell imaging properties  by Xiaohong Zhang, Jun Shi, Guangyu Shen, Fei Gou, Jinghui Cheng, Xiangge Zhou and Haifeng Xiang.

Following review articles are included in current issue:

Ordered mesoporous carbon and its applications for electrochemical energy storage and conversion
Ali Eftekhari and Zhaoyang Fan
Mater. Chem. Front., 2017,1, 1001-1027
http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/C6QM00298F

Recent progress in interfacial polymerization
Yongyang Song, Jun-Bing Fan and Shutao Wang
Mater. Chem. Front., 2017,1, 1028-1040
http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/C6QM00325G

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MCF Editors’ Recommendation – the best work as chosen by Dan Wang

As a joint venture between the chemistry communities of China and the UK, Materials Chemistry Frontiers strives to report the best research from China and rest of the world to international audiences.

Board members of the journal regularly select and feature their favourite MCF articles that represent research the members see as possessing exceptional novelty and a potential impact to the development of the field.

This month, Associate Editor Dan Wang picked his choice articles from those published in Materials Chemistry Frontiers during February and March 2017. This selection of articles focuses on the preparation of hybrid or nanomaterials and their promising applications in energy conversion and storage.

All these articles are now FREE to read.

@MaterChem on Twitter to tell us how you think about them.


Research progress regarding Si-based anode materials towards practical application in high energy density Li-ion batteries

Jin-Yi Li, Quan Xu, Ge Li, Ya-Xia Yin, Li-Jun Wan* and Yu-Guo Guo*  
DOI: 10.1039/C6QM00302H, Review Article
First published online on 20 Feb 2017

Editor’s Comments:

Si-based anode materials provide a promising way to improve the energy density of lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) due to its environmentally friendly character, natural abundance, high theoretical capacity and attractive operating voltage. However, huge volume variation during lithiation/delithiation and low electric conductivity of Si make it challenging for practical applications of Si-based materials. Yu-Guo Guo and coworkers at Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences analyzed the mechanisms of Li-Si alloying and cell failure of Si-based anodes and summarized research progress of Si-based anode materials. To obtain high reversible capacity and excellent cycling stability, nano/micro-structured Si/C and SiOx/C composite anodes with 3D conductive networks and stable interfaces are discussed. The researchers proposed the key aspects of Si-based materials and prospective strategies for promoting the practical applications of Si-based anodes in high energy density Li-ion batteries.


High-quality organohalide lead perovskite films fabricated by layer-by-layer alternating vacuum deposition for high efficiency photovoltaics

Mohammad Mahdi Tavakoli, Abdolreza Simchi, Xiaoliang Mo* and Zhiyong Fan*
DOI: 10.1039/C6QM00379F, Research Article
First published online on 06 Feb 2017

Editor’s Comments:

A new procedure to fabricate stoichiometric, uniform, and highly crystalline lead perovskite thin films. In this work, Fan et al. at The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology developed a layer-by-layer alternating (LBLA) vacuum deposition method to obtain methylammonium lead iodide thin films with much improved morphology, thickness uniformity and composition stoichiometry, as compared with previously reported two-step thin film deposition method. Characterizations show that LBLA films have higher crystallinity and longer carrier life-time. The better film quality leads to 20% improved power conversion efficiency in thin film perovskite solar devices, primarily owing to a higher fill factor and current density.

 


Ternary silver chlorobromide nanocrystals: intrinsic influence of size and morphology on photocatalytic activity

Sasitha C. Abeyweera and Yugang Sun* 
DOI: 10.1039/C7QM00046D, Research Article
First published online on 09 Mar 2017

Editor’s Comments:

Stirring rate plays a significant role in determining the mass diffusion and thus nucleation and growth kinetics of forming colloidal nanocrystals in particular in high-viscosity solutions even though its importance is usually overlooked.  By controlling the rate of solution stirring, Abeyweera and Sun from Temple University demonstrated the successful synthesis of various silver chlorobromide (AgClxBr1-x) nanoparticles with well-controlled sizes and morphologies through precipitation reaction of silver ions and halide ions in ethylene glycol.  The as-synthesized AgClxBr1‒x nanoparticles provide a unique platform to accurately study the dependence of their photocatalytic activity on particle size (which determines charge separation efficiency) and morphology (which determines the type of catalytic surfaces).


Fabrication of core–shell, yolk–shell and hollow Fe3O4@carbon microboxes for high-performance lithium-ion batteries

Hao Tian, Hao Liu*, Tianyu Yang, Jean-Pierre Veder, Guoxiu Wang, Ming Hu, Shaobin Wang, Mietek Jaroniec* and Jian Liu*
DOI: 10.1039/C7QM00059F, Research Article
First published on 06 Mar 2017

Editor’s comments:

This work presents a facile synthetic procedure of Fe3O4@carbon microboxes with core-shell, yolk-shell and hollow structures via one-step Stöber coating synthesis. Dr Jian Liu and co-workers working primarily at Curtin University, Australia, with connections to Shanghai University, China, and Kent State University, USA have synthesized a series of Fe3O4@carbon microboxes. When applied as electrodes in a lithium ion battery, the core–shell structured Fe3O4@carbon microboxes show an excellent performance with a high reversible capacity of 857 mA h g−1 that could be retained after 100 cycles at a current density of 0.1 A g−1. Their results revealed that a great performance of the Fe3O4@carbon microboxes proves the importance of rational design and fabrication of core–shell particles with tuneable structures, multi-chemical composition and improved functionalities.

*This article is also featured as the front cover story for Mater. Chem. Front., Vol 1, Iss 5.


High open-circuit voltage ternary organic solar cells based on ICBA as acceptor and absorption-complementary donors

Jin Fang, Dan Deng, Jianqi Zhang, Yajie Zhang, Kun Lu and Zhixiang Wei*
DOI: 10.1039/C6QM00308G, Research Article
Published as Advance Articles on 06 Feb 2017

Editor’s comments:

A potential strategy to improve the performance of organic solar cells (OSCs), ternary OSCs based on indene-C60 bisadduct (ICBA) electron acceptor and absorption-complementary electron donors, was reported by Wei and co-workers from National Center for Nanoscience and Technology, China. A high open-circuit voltage of 0.98 V is obtained. The performance of ternary OSCs is improved by 10% attributed to the optimized morphology with better crystalline electron donors and acceptor after blending solution processing small molecules. The reported studies reveal a new method for enhancing the performance of ICBA and non-fullerene based OSCs.


Previous articles recommended by MCF board members are also open for all to access. Read the full collection now!

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Welcome to issue 5 of Materials Chemistry Frontiers!

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The latest MaterChemFront issue is published online.

The front cover story, Fabrication of core–shell, yolk–shell and hollow Fe3O4@carbon microboxes for high-performance lithium-ion batteries is contributed by Hao Tian, Hao Liu, Tianyu Yang, Jean-Pierre Veder, Guoxiu Wang, Ming Hu, Shaobin Wang, Mietek Jaroniec and Jian Liu. The inside cover features a story on All-organic luminescent nanodots from corannulene and cyclodextrin nano-assembly: continuous-flow synthesis, non-linear optical properties, and bio-imaging applications by Mihaiela C. Stuparu and his co-authors.

Following review type articles are included in current issue:

Low-temperature aqueous solution processed ZnO as an electron transporting layer for efficient perovskite solar cells
Junshuai Zhou, Xiangyue Meng, Xiangfeng Zhang, Xia Tao, Zhiguo Zhang, Jinsong Hu, Chunru Wang, Yongfang Li and Shihe Yang
Mater. Chem. Front., 2017, 1, 802-806
DOI: 10.1039/C6QM00248J

Recent progress and advances in redox-responsive polymers as controlled delivery nanoplatforms
Xiaoyong Zhang, Lu Han, Meiying Liu, Ke Wang, Lei Tao, Qing Wan and Yen Wei
Mater. Chem. Front., 2017, 1, 807-822
DOI: 10.1039/C6QM00135A

 

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MCF Editors’ Recommendation – the best work as chosen by Natalia Shustova

As a joint venture between the chemistry communities of China and the UK, Materials Chemistry Frontiers strives to report the best research from China and rest of the world to international audiences.

Board members of the journal regularly select and feature their favourite MCF articles that represent research the members see as possessing exceptional novelty and a potential impact to the development of the field.

This month, we would like to highlight two articles about Metal-Organic Frameworks under the recommendation of our Associate Editor Natalia Shustova. Both of these articles were selected from those published in Materials Chemistry Frontiers during December 2016 and January 2017. They were also part of the themed collection Functional Open framework materials.

All these papers are now free to read. @MaterChem on Twitter to tell us how you think about them.

 


Towards hydroxamic acid linked zirconium metal–organic frameworks

Carla F. Pereira, Ashlee J. Howarth, Nicolaas A. Vermeulen, Filipe A. Almeida PazJoa ̃o P. C. Tome, Joseph T. Hupp* and Omar K. Farha*
DOI: 10.1039/C6QM00364H
First Published online on 30 Jan 2017

Editor’s comments:

A very powerful approach, solvent-assisted linker exchange (SALE) in metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), was developed in the Hupp and Farha team from Northwestern University, USA. One of the major advantages of SALE is preservation of a MOF topology while introducing a new functionality. The authors demonstrated that SALE could also be applied to increase MOF stability. In particular, increase of stability of widely used UiO-66 framework was reported through incorporation of benzene-1,4-dihydroxamic acid linkers due to formation of stronger bonds. These studies reveal a new avenue in the use of post-synthetic techniques, such as SALE, to access robust metal-organic materials, which is a key component for practical application development.


Two-dimensional metal–organic frameworks for selective separation of CO2/CH4 and CO2/N2

Stephen Charles King, Rui-Biao Lin,* Hailong Wang, Hadi D. Arman and Banglin Chen*
DOI: 10.1039/C6QM00375C
First published on 13 Jan 2017

Editor’s comments:

Due to modularity and exceptional tunability, metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) offer a number of advantages for efficient gas separation. Thus, Chen and co-workers from the University of Texas at San Antonio, USA reported the novel MOFs, which selectively adsorb CO2 over CH4 and N2, as shown by single component gas sorption and selectivity calculations. The reported studies are an important step forward for the industrial separation of CO2/CH4 and CO2/N2 gas mixtures as well as a next generation of efficient absorbents.

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Welcome to issue 4 of Materials Chemistry Frontiers!

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The latest MaterChemFront issue is published online.

The front cover story, Electrolytes for electrochemical energy storage  is contributed by Lan Xia, Linpo Yu, Di Hu and George Z. Chen. The inside cover features a story on Emission enhancement and application of synthetic green fluorescent protein chromophore analogs by Hongping Deng and Xinyuan Zhu.

Following review article is included in current issue:

Recent developments in III–V semiconducting nanowires for high-performance photodetectors
Lifan Shen, Edwin Y. B. Pun and Johnny C. Ho
Mater. Chem. Front., 2017, 1, 630-645
DOI: 10.1039/C6QM00279J

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Outstanding Reviewers for Materials Chemistry Frontiers in 2016

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Following the success of Peer Review Week in September 2016 (dedicated to reviewer recognition) during which we published a list of our top reviewers, we are delighted to announce that we will continue to recognise the contribution that our reviewers make to the journal by announcing our Outstanding Reviewers each year.

We would like to highlight the Outstanding Reviewers for Materials Chemistry Frontiers in 2016, as selected by the editorial team, for their significant contribution to the journal. The reviewers have been chosen based on the number, timeliness and quality of the reports completed over the last 12 months.

We would like to say a big thank you to those individuals listed here as well as to all of the reviewers that have supported the journal. Each Outstanding Reviewer will receive a certificate to give recognition for their significant contribution.

Professor K. R. Justin Thomas, Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee

Professor Zhen Li, Wuhan University

Professor Stephen Meech, University of East Anglia

Professor Joe Otsuki, Nihon University

Doctor Tsuneaki Sakurai, Kyoto University

Professor Yuya Tachibana, Gunma University

Professor Ben Zhong Tang, The Hong Kong University of Science & Technology

Professor Bao Wang, Institute of Process Engineering

Doctor Nailiang Yang, Nanyang Technological University

Professor Qichun Zhang, Nanyang Technological University

We would also like to thank the Materials Chemistry Frontiers board and the Materials Chemistry community for their continued support of the journal, as authors, reviewers and readers.

If you would like to become a reviewer for our journal, just email us with details of your research interests and an up-to-date CV or résumé.  You can find more details in our author and reviewer resource centre

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Welcome to issue 3 of Materials Chemistry Frontiers!

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The latest  MaterChemFront issue is published online.

The front cover story, Multi-shelled hollow micro-/nanostructures: promising platforms for lithium-ion batteries by  Jiangyan Wang, Hongjie Tang, Huan Wang, Ranbo Yu and Dan Wang.

Following review articles are included in current issue:

Recent advances in the synthesis of Janus nanomaterials of block copolymers
Renhua Deng, Fuxin Liang, Jintao Zhu and Zhenzhong Yang   
Mater. Chem. Front., 2017, 1, 431-443
DOI: 10.1039/C6QM00116E

Increasing the stability of Mg2(dobpdc) metal–organic framework in air through solvent removal
Jenny G. Vitillo and Silvia Bordiga   
Mater. Chem. Front., 2017, 1, 444-448
DOI: 10.1039/C6QM00220J

 

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Welcome to issue 2 of Materials Chemistry Frontiers!

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The latest  MaterChemFront issue is published online.

The front cover story, Nanoarchitectonics: a navigator from materials to life by Katsuhiko Ariga.

Following review articles are included in current issue:

Polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane-based hybrid materials and their applications
Hui Zhou, Qun Ye and Jianwei Xu   
Mater. Chem. Front., 2017, 1, 212-230
DOI: 10.1039/C6QM00062B

Revisiting one-dimensional TiO2 based hybrid heterostructures for heterogeneous photocatalysis: a critical review
Junyu Zhang, Guangcan Xiao, Fang-Xing Xiao and Bin Liu   
Mater. Chem. Front., 2017, 1, 231-250
DOI: 10.1039/C6QM00141F

Conducting polymer composites: material synthesis and applications in electrochemical capacitive energy storage
Jing Yang, Ying Liu, Siliang Liu, Le Li, Chao Zhang and Tianxi Liu   
Mater. Chem. Front., 2017, 1, 251-268
DOI: 10.1039/C6QM00150E

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MCF Editors’ Recommendation – the best work as chosen by the editorial board

As a joint venture between the chemistry communities of China and the UK, Materials Chemistry Frontiers strives to report the best research from China and rest of the world to international audiences.

Board members of the journal regularly select and feature their favourite MCF articles that represent research the members see as possessing exceptional novelty and a potential impact to the development of the field.

This month, Editor-in-Chief Ben Zhong Tang has picked his choice articles from those published in Materials Chemistry Frontiers before December 2016.

All these papers are now FREE to read.

@MaterChem on Twitter to tell us how you think about them.

 


Monolithic hierarchical gold sponges for efficient and stable catalysis in a continuous-flow microreactor

You Yu*, Wenqing Xiao, Tongtong Zhou, Ping Zhang, Casey Yan and Zijian Zheng*
DOI: 10.1039/C6QM00115G
First published online 23 Aug 2016

Editor’s comments:

It is highly desirable to fabricate metallic materials with large surface area-to-volume ratios by simple procedures. Y. Yu, Z. Zheng and coworkers at Northwest University and Hong Kong Polytechnic University (both in China) developed an air-compatible and moisture-tolerant solution process for the preparation of free-standing monolithic gold sponges through a polymer-assisted metal deposition approach. The Au sponges showed ultrahigh catalytic efficiency for the reduction of 4-nitrophenol even after 100 times of repeated use. The researchers also developed a continuous-flow system made of the Au sponges, which enabled separation-free, continuous catalytic reduction of flow-in liquid chemicals.


Flexible assembly of targeting agents on porous magnetic nano-cargos by inclusion complexation for accurate drug delivery

Dian Li, Luyan Sun, Yuting Zhang, Meng Yu, Jia Guo and Changchun Wang*
DOI: 10.1039/C6QM00049E
First published online 07 Sep 2016

Editor’s Comments:

Development of effective systems for accurate drug delivery is in great demand. C. Wang and collaborators at Fudan University (Shanghai) and Technical Center of China Tobacco Guangxi Industrial Co., Ltd. (Nanning) developed magnetic nano-cargos for controlled drug delivery. The Chinese researchers fixed anticancer drug doxorubicin (DOX) onto porous magnetic cores by acid-susceptible linkers, which can be broken in intracellular environments or organelles. The superficial poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) chains on the magnetic cores enhanced the dispersion of the nano-cargos and the immobilized folate (FA)-modified a-cyclodextrin (CD) by inclusion complexation, and the α-CD derivatives could be flexibly replaced as needed. With efficient pH-responsive drug release, this drug delivery system inhibited the proliferation of cancer (HeLa) cells, while imposing little cytotoxicity on normal (HEK 293T) cells. The synergistic interplay of the targeting and pH-controlled drug release capabilities of the nano-cargos has great potential in cancer chemotherapy with personalized and accurate treatment.


Triphenylamine-based donor–π–acceptor organic phosphors: synthesis, characterization and theoretical study

Aravind Babu Kajjam, Santanb Giri and Sivakumar V.*
DOI: 10.1039/C6QM00031B
First published online 07 Sep 2016

Editor’s Comments:

The development of efficient organic phosphors is of great importance to the construction of hybrid organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs). Sivakumar V. and coworkers at National Institute of Technology (India) successfully synthesized a series of new triphenylamine derivatives with multiple acceptors as yellow organic phosphors and demonstrated that an increase in the number of the acceptors led to a red shift in the photoluminescence (PL), owing to the π–π interaction and aggregation-induced emission. The yellow phosphors all showed solvent-dependent PL or solvatochromic behaviour. The phosphors are stable at high temperatures and have the potential to be used for the fabrication of white OLEDs.


Dicyanopyrazine capped with tetraphenylethylene: polymorphs with high contrast luminescence as organic volatile sensors

Chao Ge, Yang Liu,* Xin Ye, Xiaoxin Zheng, Quanxiang Han, Jie Liu and Xutang Tao
DOI: 10.1039/C6QM00146G
First published online 12 Sep 2016

Editor’s Comments:

Organic luminescent polymorphs with high contrasts in light emission have attracted much attention. Taking advantage of the aggregation-induced emission feature of propeller-shaped tetraphenylethylene and the strong electron-withdrawing ability of dicyanopyrazine, Liu and coworkers at Shandong University (China) have synthesized a pair of luminescent materials (1DQCN and 2DQCN) with intramolecular charge-transfer attribute.  Whereas 1DQCN shows crystallization-induced blue shift in its light emission, 2DQCN exhibits crystallization-induced red shift due to its more coplanar molecular structure.  2DQCN displays three distinguishable polymorphs with different colour and luminescence.  Switching between the polymorphs can be readily achieved by solvent fuming and thermal annealing, making the luminogen promising as visualization sensor for the detection of volatile organic compounds.


An anthracenecarboximide fluorescent probe for in vitro and in vivo ratiometric imaging of endogenous alpha-ʟ-fucosidase for hepatocellular carcinoma diagnosis

Xianfeng Hou, Jin Peng, Fang Zeng,* Changmin Yu and Shuizhu Wu*
DOI: 10.1039/c6qm00112b
First published online 28 Sep 2016

Editor’s Comments:

Alpha-ʟ-fucosidase (AFU) is an enzyme that belongs to the family of hydrolases and that plays a vital role in all mammalian cells at low concentrations.  Aberrant levels of AFU, however, cause health problems such as fucosidosis and carcinoma.  Effective detection of AFU can thus be very useful in terms of early disease diagnosis.  F. Zeng, S. Wu and coworkers at South China University of Technology (Guangzhou) presented the first example of ratiometric fluorescent bioprobe for AFU assay.  The bioprobe is based on the mechanism of AFU-catalyzed selective cleavage of α-ʟ-fucose group, enabling highly sensitive and selective detection of AFU in live cells.  Its detection limit is as low as 0.0033 U mL-1. The researchers successfully applied this bioprobe to a hepatocellular carcinoma model of zebrafish for monitoring and spatially mapping endogenous AFU levels. This work offers an effective approach to studying AFU-associated physiological and pathological processes.


Different cell behaviors induced by stereochemistry on polypeptide brush grafted surfaces

Yinan Ma, Yong Shen* and Zhibo Li*
DOI: 10.1039/C6QM00200E
First published online 15 Nov 2016

Editor’s Comments:

Almost all the proteinogenic amino acids are L-stereoisomers in the living systems. Is there any biological implication of this structural motif? A “yes” answer was given in a recent study by Y. Shen, Z. Li and collaborators at Qingdao University of Science and Technology (Shandong) and Institute of Chemistry of Chinese Academy of Sciences (Beijing).  The researchers prepared surface-grafted poly(γ-benzyl glutamate) brushes with different secondary structures to investigate the influence of main-chain chirality on cell adhesion behaviours.  They found that cells adhered and grown more densely and homogeneously on the poly(γ-benzyl L-glutamate) (PBLG)-grafted surfaces than on those grafted with its enantiomeric counterpart poly(γ-benzyl D-glutamate) (PBDG).  This is possibly owing to the chirality recognition of living cells through the stereospecific interactions between the chiral molecules and the cell surface proteins. This study may help better understand cell/chirality interactions.

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