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Interlocked structures on active duty

Nature Chemistry, Published online: 26 January 2023; doi:10.1038/s41557-022-01130-9Interlocking macrocyclic carbon nanomaterials is an exciting way to tune their molecular properties, but all-conjugated catenanes and rotaxanes are extremely challenging to make. Now, fully π-conjugated [2]- and [3]catenanes as well as a [3]rotaxane have been prepared...

Plasmonic visible–near infrared photothermal activation of olefin metathesis enabling photoresponsive materials

Nature Chemistry, Published online: 26 January 2023; doi:10.1038/s41557-022-01124-7Current strategies for photoinduced olefin metathesis lack wavelength tunability. Now, plasmonic nanoparticles have been used to activate latent ruthenium catalysts, enabling light-induced olefin metathesis in the infrared range with several advantages when compared with...

No man is an island

Nature Chemistry, Published online: 26 January 2023; doi:10.1038/s41557-022-01125-6Amilra Prasanna (AP) de Silva talks to Nature Chemistry about his path in chemistry, from photochemistry to sodium sensors to logic gates, through connections between people and between two places that share more than it may seem, Sri Lanka and Northern Ireland.

Chiral sulfinyls from sulfones

Nature Chemistry, Published online: 26 January 2023; doi:10.1038/s41557-022-01122-9The selective removal of one oxygen atom from sulfones, without over-reduction to sulfide, is a challenging task. Now, through organocatalysis and incorporation of a cyano group into the sulfone, an asymmetric deoxygenation strategy has been developed, providing an efficient...

Photoswitching neutral homoaromatic hydrocarbons

Nature Chemistry, Published online: 26 January 2023; doi:10.1038/s41557-022-01121-wNeutral homoaromatic hydrocarbons—which possess an interrupted π-system yet display aromatic properties owing to through-space or through-bond interactions—have remained rare as they are typically unstable. Now a class of stable neutral homoaromatic homoannulenes has...

A cyclase that catalyses competing 2 + 2 and 4 + 2 cycloadditions

Nature Chemistry, Published online: 23 January 2023; doi:10.1038/s41557-022-01104-xCycloaddition reactions are among the most useful reactions in chemical synthesis, but biosynthetic enzymes with 2 + 2 cyclase activity have yet to be observed. Now it is shown that a β-barrel-fold protein catalyses competitive 2 + 2 and 4 + 2 cycloaddition reactions....

Mechanically gated formation of donor–acceptor Stenhouse adducts enabling mechanochemical multicolour soft lithography

Nature Chemistry, Published online: 23 January 2023; doi:10.1038/s41557-022-01126-5Mechanochemical generation of dyes with different photophysical properties generally requires the use of discrete mechanophore derivatives with unique chemical structures. Now it has been shown that diverse donor–acceptor Stenhouse adducts can be produced via a mechanically...

Organocatalytic asymmetric deoxygenation of sulfones to access chiral sulfinyl compounds

Nature Chemistry, Published online: 16 January 2023; doi:10.1038/s41557-022-01120-xThe direct conversion of sulfones to chiral sulfinyl compounds is one of the major challenges in the fields of asymmetric synthesis and organosulfur chemistry. Now, through incorporation of a cyano group into the sulfone, an organocatalytic asymmetric deoxygenation strategy...

An NmrA-like enzyme-catalysed redox-mediated Diels–Alder cycloaddition with <i>anti</i>-selectivity

Nature Chemistry, Published online: 12 January 2023; doi:10.1038/s41557-022-01117-6A Diels–Alderase that catalyses the inherently disfavoured cycloaddition and forms a bicyclo[2.2.2]diazaoctane scaffold with a strict α-anti-selectivity has now been discovered. This Diels–Alderase, called CtdP, is an NmrA-like protein. Isotopic labelling, structural...

Metalloradical approach for concurrent control in intermolecular radical allylic C−H amination

Nature Chemistry, Published online: 12 January 2023; doi:10.1038/s41557-022-01119-4Controlling various selectivities in radical reactions presents both formidable challenges and great opportunities. Now, Co(II)-based metalloradical catalysis has enabled the concurrent control of multiple convergences and selectivities in intermolecular radical allylic...

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