First observation of unusual hemi bond

Experimental evidence for two-centre three-electron bond described as ‘a triumph of spectroscopy’

Researchers in Japan have observed the stable hemi-bonded structure of (H2S)n+ (n = 3–6). Using infra-red (IR) spectroscopy, the team has experimental evidence for this unusual, previously only theoretically predicted, structure.

The two-centre three-electron (2c–3e) bond, also known as a hemi bond, was first proposed by Linus Pauling in the 1930s. It is formed by the lone pair orbitals of a neutral molecule and its radical cation overlapping, causing the bonding sigma orbital to be doubly occupied and the antibonding sigma* orbital to be singly occupied.

Read the full story by Suzanne Howson on Chemistry World.


Source: © Royal Society of Chemistry
Two possible structural motifs of (H2S)2+

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Stabilization of the world’s smallest lasso

Molecular snare threads through itself under redox conditions

Source: © Royal Society of Chemistry

The world’s smallest lasso has been created by scientists in Saudi Arabia and the US. The molecular device threads through itself, forming a reversible noose, in response to chemical and electronic stimuli.

The research team, led by 2016 Nobel prize-winner Fraser Stoddart of Northwestern University, were inspired by naturally occurring lasso peptides – molecules produced by a variety of bacteria, which consist of a linear peptide tail laced through a macrolactam ring.

Read the full story by Jamie Durrani on Chemistry World.

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Meet Michelle Chang: Chemical Science Associate Editor

In August last year, we were delighted to welcome Professor Michelle Chang as Chemical Science Associate Editor, handling submissions in the area of chemical biology.

Michelle C. Chang earned a B.Sc. in Biochemistry and in French Literature at the University of California in San Diego. This was followed by research as a National Science Foundation Predoctoral Fellow and as a M.I.T./Merck Foundation Predoctoral Fellow. In 2004, she obtained her Ph.D. at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with Professor JoAnne Stubbe and Professor Daniel G. Nocera.

After a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of California, Berkeley, she joined the faculty where she is currently working as an Associate Professor at the Department of Chemistry.

Michelle’s team uses the approaches of mechanistic biochemistry, molecular and cell biology, metabolic engineering, and synthetic biology to address problems in energy and human health. Her group designs and creates new biosynthetic pathways in microbial hosts for in vivo production of biofuels from abundant crop feedstocks and pharmaceuticals from natural products or natural product scaffolds.

Below is a list of hot Chemical Science articles published within Michelle’s area of expertise – all free to read. We hope you enjoy them!

Assembly Line Termination in Cylindrocyclophane Biosynthesis: Discovery of an Editing Type II Thioesterase Domain in a Type I Polyketide Synthase
H. Nakamura, J.X. Wang and E.P. Balskus
Chem. Sci., 2015,6, 3816-3822
DOI: 10.1039/C4SC03132F 

An enantioselective artificial Suzukiase based on the biotin–streptavidin technology
Anamitra Chatterjee, Hendrik Mallin, Juliane Klehr, Jaicy Vallapurackal, Aaron D. Finke, Laura Vera, May Marshb and Thomas R. Ward
Chem. Sci., 2016,7,673-677
DOI:  10.1039/C5SC03116H 

Next-generation disulfide stapling: reduction and functional re-bridging all in one
Maximillian T. W. Lee, Antoine Maruani, James R. Baker, Stephen Caddicka and Vijay Chudasama
Chem. Sci., 2016,7, 799-802
DOI: 10.1039/C5SC02666K

Activity modulation and allosteric control of a scaffolded DNAzyme using a dynamic DNA nanostructure
Xiuhai Mao, Anna J. Simon, Hao Pei, Jiye Shi, Jiang Li, Qing Huang, Kevin W. Plaxcob and Chunhai Fan
Chem. Sci., 2016,7, 1200-1204
DOI: 10.1039/C5SC03705K

You can submit your high quality research in the area of chemical biology to Michelle Chang’s Editorial Office.

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AFM no longer falls flat

Functionalised AFM tip helps researchers see crude oil in a new dimension

Following on from their previous work on identifying the structures of asphaltenes, researchers from Switzerland, the US and Spain have proven that they can identify tetrahedrally co-ordinated carbon backbones in model asphaltene molecules, and distinguish them from their planar aromatic counterparts.

Read the full story by Philippa Matthews in Chemistry World.

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Bürgenstock Conference 2017

30 April – 4 May 2017 in Brunnen, Switzerland

30 April – 4 May 2017, Brunnen, Switzerland

Apply now!

Started in 1965, The ‘SCS Conference on Stereochemistry’, better known as ‘Bürgenstock Conference’, is an outstanding international chemistry meeting of high scientific quality, with a focus on inter-disciplinary discussion.

According to the conference’s tradition, the 52nd Bürgenstock Conference 2017 will be interdisciplinary, covering many areas of chemistry, and will be welcoming relevant highlights from neighbouring disciplines, with a strong focus on structural and mechanistic aspects.


Organizing Committee:

Our Executive Editor Philippa Hughes will be attending the conference. Meet her there!

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Basically record breaking

By Will Bergius for Chemistry World

Ortho-diethynylbenzene dianion is the strongest base ever made

Ortho-diethynylbenzene dianion

Source: © Royal Society of Chemistry
The superbasic ortho-diethynylbenzene dianion (red) readily abstracts protons from many weak acids


The methyl anion H3C– was the strongest known base for 30 years, until Tian and colleagues made the lithium monoxide anion in 2008, which has held the record since. Now, scientists in Australia have knocked LiO– down to second place, making a gas-phase dianion with the highest basicity ever found.

Superbases with high proton affinities like n-butyl lithium and sodium hydride are fundamental to organic synthesis. Chemists use them to deprotonate weak acids – the weaker the acid, the stronger the base needed to deprotonate it.


Read the full story by Will Bergius in Chemistry World.


B L J Poad et al., Chem. Sci., 2016. DOI: 10.1039/c6sc01726f

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Royal Society of Chemistry and ACS Publications commit to ORCID integration

On 28 November 2016, the Royal Society of Chemistry and the American Chemical Society Publications Division, ACS Publications, both signed the ORCID Open Letter committing to unambiguous identification of all authors that publish in our journals.

The official press release can be found here: http://rsc.li/orcid

In brief, this partnership with ORCID will resolve ambiguity in researcher identification caused by name changes, cultural differences in name presentation, and the inconsistent use of name abbreviations, thereby ensuring their contributions are appropriately recognized and credited.

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Frontiers in Chemical Sciences (FICS-2016)

8th to 10th December, IIT Guwahati, India


Frontiers in Chemical Science 2016

8 – 10 December 2016, IIT Guwahati, India

The FICS-2016 conference is a national biennial conference hosted by the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati on 8-10 December 2016 in Guwahati, India.

The conference is mainly aimed at motivating and promoting aspiring young scientists in the field of chemistry and allied sciences, by giving them an opportunity to present their work alongside the stalwarts in the field.

All branches of chemistry and sister sciences will be covered, from theoretical to experimental and applied chemistry, as well as modern science and technology. The scientific program includes plenary sessions, invited talks, and poster presentations.


Chemical Science, ChemComm and Chem Soc Rev proudly sponsor this event: 3 poster prizes will be awarded at the conference on behalf of each journal.

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Multi-talented polymer more versatile than sum of its parts

Written by Fiona Tscherny for Chemistry World

Researchers in China have designed multi-talented materials with mix-and-match functionalities, such as shape memory, self-healing or colour changes, which can be triggered by stimuli such as heat, light or voltage.

Source: © Royal Society of Chemistry - The polymer can heal a scratch (top left) or hole (bottom left) within 10 seconds when exposed to light

Stimuli-responsive polymers adapt to environmental changes, making them useful for applications such as drug delivery systems that exploit differences in pH to direct medicines to the required organs or thermochromic coatings for windows reversibly tint the glass in response to temperature.
However, integrating responsivity to numerous stimuli in smart polymers ‘in particular when considering a simple and feasible synthetic route’, has been challenging, notes Patrick Théato, from the University of Hamburg, Germany, who wasn’t involved in this work.

Read the full article in Chemistry World >>>


Multi-stimuli responsive and multi-functional oligoaniline-modified vitrimers
Qiaomei Chen, Xiaowen Yu, Zhiqiang Pei, Yang Yang, Yen Wei and Yan Ji
Chem. Sci., 2016, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C6SC02855A, Edge Article

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Chemical Science Symposium 2017

11 January 2017, Kolkata, India

We are delighted to announce that the Chemical Science Symposium 2017 will take place in Kolkata, India on 11 January 2017.

This event will be chaired by Chemical Science Editor-in-Chief Dan Nocera (Harvard University) and it will bring together exceptional researchers – all leading names in their field – to share scientific developments covering broad research areas of renewable energy, environment, materials and inorganic and organometallic catalysis.

The Chemical Science symposium will be a part of the Symposium on Advanced Biological Inorganic Chemistry (SABIC) organised by the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science (IACS) and the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), bringing together more than 600 scientists working in inorganic and bio-inorganic chemistry.

The venue will be The Stadel, Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan, Kolkata, India.

Find out more about this event.

Mark your calendar today and register now!

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