Communications Chemistry

Journal Information
EISSN : 2399-3669
Current Publisher: Springer Science and Business Media LLC (10.1038)
Former Publisher:
Total articles ≅ 514
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Franklin D. Fuller, Anton Loukianov, Tsukasa Takanashi, Daehyun You, , Kiyoshi Ueda, Thomas Fransson, , , Tsu-Chien Weng, et al.
Communications Chemistry, Volume 4, pp 1-9; doi:10.1038/s42004-021-00512-3

Hard X-ray spectroscopy is an element specific probe of electronic state, but signals are weak and require intense light to study low concentration samples. Free electron laser facilities offer the highest intensity X-rays of any available light source. The light produced at such facilities is stochastic, with spikey, broadband spectra that change drastically from shot to shot. Here, using aqueous ferrocyanide, we show that the resonant X-ray emission (RXES) spectrum can be inferred by correlating for each shot the fluorescence intensity from the sample with spectra of the fluctuating, self-amplified spontaneous emission (SASE) source. We obtain resolved narrow and chemically rich information in core-to-valence transitions of the pre-edge region at the Fe K-edge. Our approach avoids monochromatization, provides higher photon flux to the sample, and allows non-resonant signals like elastic scattering to be simultaneously recorded. The spectra obtained match well with spectra measured using a monochromator. We also show that inaccurate measurements of the stochastic light spectra reduce the measurement efficiency of our approach.
Xiaofeng Li, Angus Lowe, Lewis Conway, ,
Communications Chemistry, Volume 4, pp 1-10; doi:10.1038/s42004-021-00517-y

Studies of molecular mixtures containing hydrogen sulfide (H2S) could open up new routes towards hydrogen-rich high-temperature superconductors under pressure. H2S and ammonia (NH3) form hydrogen-bonded molecular mixtures at ambient conditions, but their phase behavior and propensity towards mixing under pressure is not well understood. Here, we show stable phases in the H2S–NH3 system under extreme pressure conditions to 4 Mbar from first-principles crystal structure prediction methods. We identify four stable compositions, two of which, (H2S) (NH3) and (H2S) (NH3)4, are stable in a sequence of structures to the Mbar regime. A re-entrant stabilization of (H2S) (NH3)4 above 300 GPa is driven by a marked reversal of sulfur-hydrogen chemistry. Several stable phases exhibit metallic character. Electron–phonon coupling calculations predict superconducting temperatures up to 50 K, in the Cmma phase of (H2S) (NH3) at 150 GPa. The present findings shed light on how sulfur hydride bonding and superconductivity are affected in molecular mixtures. They also suggest a reservoir for hydrogen sulfide in the upper mantle regions of icy planets in a potentially metallic mixture, which could have implications for their magnetic field formation.
Haiman Zhang, Shuang Lin, , Kaixin Zhang, Yi Wang, ,
Communications Chemistry, Volume 4, pp 1-12; doi:10.1038/s42004-021-00518-x

Ortho-functionalized phenols and their derivatives represent prominent structural motifs and building blocks in medicinal and synthetic chemistry. While numerous synthetic approaches exist, the development of atom-/step-economic and practical methods for the chemodivergent assembly of diverse ortho-functionalized phenols based on fixed catalyst/substrates remains challenging. Here, by selectively controlling the reactivities of different sites in methylenecyclopropane core, Rh(III)-catalyzed redox-neutral and tunable C-H functionalizations of N-phenoxyacetamides are realized, providing access to both ortho-functionalized phenols bearing linear dienyl, cyclopropyl or allyl ether groups, and cyclic 3-ethylidene 2,3-dihydrobenzofuran frameworks under mild cross-coupling conditions. These divergent transformations feature broad substrate compatibility, synthetic applications and excellent site-/regio-/chemoselectivity. Experimental and computational mechanistic studies reveal that distinct catalytic modes involving selective β-C/β-H elimination, π-allylation, inter-/intramolecular nucleophilic substitution cascade and β-H’ elimination processes enabled by different solvent-mediated and coupling partner-controlled reaction conditions are crucial for achieving chemodivergence, among which a structurally distinct Rh(V) species derived from a five-membered rhodacycle is proposed as the corresponding active intermediates.
Lingyao Meng, Binyu Yu,
Communications Chemistry, Volume 4, pp 1-10; doi:10.1038/s42004-021-00522-1

Metal-organic frameworks (MOF) are an emerging class of microporous materials with promising applications. MOF nanocrystals, and their assembled super-structures, can display unique properties and reactivities when compared with their bulk analogues. MOF nanostructures of 0-D, 2-D, and 3-D dimensions can be routinely obtained by controlling reaction conditions and ligand additives, while formation of 1-D MOF nanocrystals (nanowires and nanorods) and super-structures has been relatively rare. We report here a facile templated interfacial synthesis methodology for the preparation of a series of 1-D MOF nano- and micro-structures with precisely controlled shapes and sizes. Specifically, by applying track-etched polycarbonate (PCTE) membranes as the templates and at the oil/water interface, we rapidly and reproducibly synthesize zeolitic imidazolate framework-8 (ZIF-8) and ZIF-67 nano- and micro structures of sizes ranging from 10 nm to 20 μm. We also identify a size confinement effect on MOF crystal growth, which leads to single crystals under the most restricted conditions and inter-grown polycrystals at larger template pore sizes, as well as surface directing effects that influence the crystallographic preferred orientation. Our findings provide a potentially generalizable method for controlling the size, morphology, and crystal orientations of MOF nanomaterials, as well as offering fundamental understanding into MOF crystal growth mechanisms.
Lixi Chen,
Published: 28 May 2021
Communications Chemistry, Volume 4, pp 1-4; doi:10.1038/s42004-021-00514-1

Preorganization is an effective strategy for f-element separation, but the complexity of extractant synthesis hinders large-scale application. Here the authors discuss an alternative strategy induced by in situ self-assembly that borrows principles of multivalent cooperativity from Nature to separate f-elements.
Andrew J. Bissette
Communications Chemistry, Volume 4, pp 1-2; doi:10.1038/s42004-021-00519-w

Lewis acid additives such as aluminium can enable fascinating new reactivity in transition metal catalysts, but few catalytic intermediates have been characterised. Now, a nickel-aluminium pincer complex offers new mechanistic insight into transmetalation, and new potential for reactivity.
Communications Chemistry, Volume 4, pp 1-9; doi:10.1038/s42004-021-00516-z

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is prevalent in planetary atmospheres and sees use in a variety of industrial applications. Despite its ubiquitous nature, its photochemistry remains poorly understood. In this work we explore the density dependence of pressurized and supercritical CO2 electronic absorption spectra by vacuum ultraviolet spectroscopy over the wavelength range 1455-2000 Å. We show that the lowest absorption band transition energy is unaffected by a density increase up to and beyond the thermodynamic critical point (137 bar, 308 K). However, the diffuse vibrational structure inherent to the spectrum gradually decreases in magnitude. This effect cannot be explained solely by collisional broadening and/or dimerization. We suggest that at high densities close proximity of neighboring CO2 molecules with a variety of orientations perturbs the multiple monomer electronic state potential energy surfaces, facilitating coupling between binding and dissociative states. We estimate a critical radius of ~4.1 Å necessary to cause such perturbations.
Teresa S. Ortner
Communications Chemistry, Volume 4, pp 1-2; doi:10.1038/s42004-021-00521-2

Lithium-ion batteries suffer from declining performance when the electrolyte decomposes. Now, low-dosage cryogenic transmission electron microscopy (cryo-TEM) visualizes how the common solid electrolyte interface component lithium carbonate decomposes and how additives stabilize the interface.
, Ikko Takahashi, Hirotaka Nakajima, Laurean Ilies,
Published: 24 May 2021
Communications Chemistry, Volume 4, pp 1-8; doi:10.1038/s42004-021-00513-2

With sodium being the most abundant alkali metal on Earth, organosodium compounds are an attractive choice for sustainable chemical synthesis. However, organosodium compounds are rarely used—and are overshadowed by organolithium compounds—because of a lack of convenient and efficient preparation methods. Here we report a halogen–sodium exchange method to prepare a large variety of (hetero)aryl- and alkenylsodium compounds including tri- and tetrasodioarenes, many of them previously inaccessible by other methods. The key discovery is the use of a primary and bulky alkylsodium lacking β-hydrogens, which retards undesired reactions, such as Wurtz–Fittig coupling and β-hydrogen elimination, and enables efficient halogen–sodium exchange. The alkylsodium is readily prepared in situ from neopentyl chloride and an easy-to-handle sodium dispersion. We believe that the efficiency, generality, and convenience of the present method will contribute to the widespread use of organosodium in organic synthesis, ultimately contributing to the development of sustainable organic synthesis by rivalling the currently dominant organolithium reagents.
, Yuma Sakatsume, Katsuto Onishi, Rui Tang, Kazuma Takahashi, , , , Takahiro Kakuta, Tada-Aki Yamagishi
Communications Chemistry, Volume 4, pp 1-6; doi:10.1038/s42004-021-00515-0

Carbon materials with controlled pore sizes at the nanometer level have been obtained by template methods, chemical vapor desorption, and extraction of metals from carbides. However, to produce porous carbons with controlled pore sizes at the Ångstrom-level, syntheses that are simple, versatile, and reproducible are desired. Here, we report a synthetic method to prepare porous carbon materials with pore sizes that can be precisely controlled at the Ångstrom-level. Heating first induces thermal polymerization of selected three-dimensional aromatic molecules as the carbon sources, further heating results in extremely high carbonization yields (>86%). The porous carbon obtained from a tetrabiphenylmethane structure has a larger pore size (4.40 Å) than those from a spirobifluorene (4.07 Å) or a tetraphenylmethane precursor (4.05 Å). The porous carbon obtained from tetraphenylmethane is applied as an anode material for sodium-ion battery.
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