Every month, our group democratically selects the Paper of the Month (PoM) – a recent research article in chemistry (from other research groups) that impressed most of our team members. The full list of all PoMs you can see below.

The Anderson group managed to directly link porphyrins at the β-position to trimers and tetramers.

December 2022: The Mastalerz lab observed the formation of giant dimeric and trimeric catenane cubes.

November 2022: The Stevens group designed nanoreactors which can communicate with each other by photoswitch-driven enzymatic feedback loops.

October 2022: Burke and coworkers reported a closed-loop optimization for general reaction conditions of Suzuki-Miyaura reactions.

September 2022: Roy and coworkers report a azobenzene crystal which is continously rolling in sunlight.

August 2022: The Tiefenbacher group was able to mimic the proton wire machanism of enzyme to achieve selective glycosylations inside a supramolecular capsule.

July 2022: Feringa et al. developed a chemically recyclable polymer network based on orthogonal DCC.

June 2022: Yan and colleagues prepared interesting, mechanically interlocked aerogels.

May 2022: Another impressive molecule was synthesized in the Itami Lab: A Möbius Carbon Nanobelt

April 2022: Roberts and coworkers achieved the fuelled directional rotation about a covalent single bond for the first time ever.

March 2022: Jiang and coworkers introduced polyrotaxanes in a polymer network to create novel materials for organic bioelectronics.

February 2022: The group of Di Stefano reported a dissipative system based on calixarene host-guest complexes.

January 2022: Qu et al. developed a dynamic timing emissive system by addition of chemical fuels.

December 2021: Feng and coworkers presented mechanochromic, self-healble and shape-programmable elastomers based on dynamic covalent boronic ester bonds.

November 2021: Ito and coworkers synthesized Grignard reagents by mechanochemical synthesis in air and demonstrated their application for various reactions.

October 2021: Amabilino and coworkers used light to move a molecular traveller along a supramolecular path.

September 2021: Zonta and coworkers used wine and juice straight from the bottle to template the self-assembly of supramolecular cages.

August 2021: Richert and coworkers were able to control the incorporation of amino acids into a growing peptide just by the use of an RNA template.

July 2021: Leigh and coworkers designed a molecular machine that pumps up crown ethers from solution on an axle to form out-of-equilibrium rotaxanes.

June 2021: König, Mutruc and Hecht sreened α-cyanodiarylethene photoswitches based dymanic covalent Knoevenagel exchange.

May 2021: Wooley and coworkers presented a degradable polypeptide organic radical battery.

April 2021: Tian and coworkers achieved the sequence-selective synthesis of a decapeptide by two parallel operating molecular machines.

March 2021: The group of Haino investigated a supramolecular polymer based on the association of fullerenes with calixarene hosts in the main chain.

February 2021: Braun and coworkers observed the formation of structured oligonucleotide sequences from a random pool after replication by templated ligation.

January 2021:The group of Ulrich achieved cell-selective siRNA delivery by RNA-templated dynamic covalent polymers.

December 2020: Maglia and coworkers developed a DNA piston which uses chemical energy for molecular transport against an apllied bias.

November 2020: McTernan, De Bo and Leigh designed a nanomachine that uses Wittig reactions for the formation of a single-sequence oligomer.

September 2020: Jasti and coworkers presented an impressive computational study on the effect of curvature on diverse donor/acceptor fluorophores, paving the way towards redshifted nanohoops.

August 2020: Hartmann and Greb reported the dynamic covalent self-assembly of a giant perfluorinated macrocycle via SiO4 linkers.

July 2020: “A mobile robotic chemist” was used by Cooper and coworkers to perform a fully automated screening in a photocatalytic HER study.

June 2020: Otto and coworkers reported the chance emergence of catalytic activity and promiscuity in a self-replicating system.

May 2020: Lei and coworkers demonstrated the catalytic activity of the naturally occurring Morus alba Diels-Alderase as first stand-alone Diels-Alderase ever.

April 2020: The group of Williams presented a fascinating study about the self-assembly of  weblike structures by the evaporation of whiskey droplets.

March 2020: Wu and coworkers reported a “peripheral templation” in tetrahedral anion cages by chriral guests.

February 2020: Hermans and coworkers designed a fuel-driven reaction cycle which yields hydrogels with re-programmable morphologies.

January 2020:Anderson and coworkers demonstrated the validity of Hückel´s rule for large macrocycles by the synthesis and examination of huge porphyrin nanorings with up to 162 π-electrons.

December 2019:Ishii and coworkers discovered a highly reproducible method for the preparation of a chiral supramolecule using rotary-evaporator-based mechanical rotation.

November 2019: Ribas and coworkers achieved the regioselective functionalization of C60 by the use of a supramolecular mask.

October 2019: Wulff and coworkers developed a bis-diazirine based crosslinker for aliphatic polymers which can even crosslink UHMWPE.

September 2019: Hawbaker and Blackmond evaluated the energy threshold for chiral symmetry breaking in molecular self-replication on the model of the Soai reaction system.

August 2019: Philp and coworkers report an intriguing case of compositional persistence in a dynamic network of replicators.

July 2019: Alfonso, Quesada and Solà demonstrated that tripodal cages are able to kill cancer cells by means of pH-dependant Cl- transport.

June 2019: a new mode of living (annulative) polymerization has been developed by Itami and coworkers and used to prepare graphene nanoribbons. 

May 2019: Matile and coworkers demonstrated how adaptive networks of cyclic oligosulfides represent a new tool to achieve cell penetration.

April 2019: Moran and coworkers carried out a tour de force study of an Fe(II)-promoted chemical reaction network that may be a prebiotic precursor of the Krebs and glyoxylate metabolic cycles.

March 2019: Bradley and coworkers reported a fascinating breakthrough on radical polymerizations inside living cells.

February 2019: Sugiyasu and colleagues used high-speed AFM to directly observe and manipulate supramolecular polymerization!

January 2019: Aida and coworkers report the demonstration of a mesophase transition in a hybrid material of a columnar supramolecular polymer and a liquid crystalline material.

December 2018: Bach and colleagues demonstrate an ingenious use of “supramolecular photosensitization” for achieving the deracemization of chiral allenes by visible light.

November 2018: Stupp and coworkers found a supramolecular sweet spot (strong enough, yet not too strong) in their DNA-peptide fibrous superstructures that are still dynamic after self-assembly.

October 2018: we are just as excited as Derek Lowe about two papers (PantelicGonen) demonstrating that electron diffraction (“micro-ED”) can be used to elucidate the structure of small molecules, circumventing the need to grow sizable single crystals.

September 2018: we were equally surprised and excited to see a paper on the fight against “Inter-Galactic Parasites” based on a tool called “MORTY”, authored by Beth Smith at the Sanchez Institute.

August 2018: an impressive coupling of photodynamic and dynamic covalent equilibria was achieved by Stefan Hecht and coworkers in their “light-driven Dean-Stark“.

July 2018: Fletcher and coworkers report a fully synthetic self-replicator, which is fundamentally based on phase sepration and micelle self-assembly.

June 2018: Herder and Lehn introduce the concept of a “photodynamic covalent bond” to the toolbox of dynamic covalent chemistry.

May 2018: Arnold and coworkers used the directed evolution of hemeproteins to achieve enzyme-catalyzed syntheses of highly strained, chiral carbocycles (cyclopropenes, bicyclobutanes).

April 2018: A spectacular nanoball (rugby-shaped) was prepared by Anderson and coworkers and delocalized electronic excitation over the entire system was found by fluorescence spectroscopy.

March 2018: Grzybowski and coworkers demonstrate that chemical syntheses of medicinally relevant molecules can be autonomously and successfully designed in silico (by their program “Chematica”).

February 2018: Krishnamurthy and coworkers report that diamidophosphate (DAP) could possibly have been an important “ingredient” of prebiotic chemistry, enabling the phosphorylation of a wide variety of (pre)biological building blocks (nucleosides/tides, amino acids and lipid precursors) and their (self)assembly into higher order structures.

January 2018: Li and coworkers describe a fascinating (chiral, halogen-bonded, dual azobenzene switch) dopand that enables reflection color tuning in a liquid crystal host.

December 2017: Rowan and coworkers managed to crack one of the toughest nuts of supramolecular chemistry (and polymer chemistry): the first synthesis of poly[n]catenanes (n = [7–26]).

November 2017:  Dave Leigh and coworkers designed and synthesized rotary and linear molecular motors that are enabled by an ingenious Brownian energy ratchet mechanism (driven by “traceless” fuel pulses, responsive kinetic barriers based on orthogonal DCC, thermodynamics and kinetics inherently coordinated through pH pulses).

October 2017: An impressive artificial transmembrane signal transduction system was developed by Williams and Hunter. 

September 2017: researchers from Japan, Germany, the UK and the US report a huge step forward towards synthetic 2D carbon allotropes.

August 2017: Hermans and coworkers describe non-equilibrium steady states in supramolecular polymerization, made possible by their ingenious use of a membrane flow reactor.

July 2017: The group of Aida created a supramolecular system, in which non-covalent polymerization occurs both upon heating and cooling.

June 2017: in a synthetic tour de force featuring consecutive Wittig reactions and a final Nickel-mediated six-fold C-C coupling, Itami and coworkers achieved the first synthesis of a carbon nanobelt.

May 2017: Cristiano Zonta an coworkers describe a metallosupramolecular/dynamic covalent cage whose rate of hydrolytic disassembly can be controlled by the size of ditopic guests.

April 2017: Watson-Crick base pairing with dye-functionalized DNA single strands and an associated colour change of 3D DNA crystals was demonstrated by Seeman and coworkers.

March 2017: Fletcher and colleagues were able to use ultrasensitive optical microscopy for  visualizing the emergence of a complex, autocatalytic system.

February 2017: Walther and coworkers realized social self-sorting of microgel systems by merging colloidal self-assembly with supramolecular interactions.

January 2017: Anderson and coworkers demonstrate paratropic and diatropic ring currents at an unprecedented scale: one of their six-porphyrin nanorings is globally antiaromatic in its four-fold oxidized state (80 π-electrons) and globally aromatic in its six-fould oxidized state (78 π-electrons).

December 2016: Storch and Trapp designed a Rhodium-phosphoramidite catalyst whose non-covalent interaction with a chiral reaction product leads to enantioselective self-amplification.

November 2016: a negative feedback loop was demonstrated by Aprahamian and coworkers in one of their metal-responsive hydrazone switches: above 20 mol% Zn2+, coordination-coupled deprotonation triggers a secondary chemical process that sequesters any Zn2+ above 20 mol%.

October 2016: Goldup and coworkers developed a simple and high-yielding strategy for the iterative synthesis of oligo[n]rotaxanes.

September 2016: The Whitesides group designed a minimalistic, yet ingenious oscillatory network based on disulfides and thioesters. Systems chemistry!

August 2016: Fujita and coworkers report the self-assembly of a gigantic (diameter 8 nm) Pd30L60 icosidodecahedron

July 2016: Berryman and coworkers report an elegant triple helicate that encapsulates iodide via halogen bonding.

June 2016: Leigh and coworkers describe an autonomous rotary motor: a unique out-of-equlibrium system that converts a chemical fuel into persistent rotary motion.

May 2016: Biedermann and Schneider published a comprehensive review article on experimental (non-covalent) binding energies.

April 2016: a distinct water dimer inside a molecular American football: in a synthetic tour de force, Murata and coworkers prepared compound (H2O)2@C70, providing insights on hydrogen bonding in this unusual environment.

March 2016: Otto and coworkers are pushing the boundaries of dynamic covalent systems chemistry: they report the emergence of two sets of self-replicating chemical quasi-species in a complex library made up of two different dithiol building blocks.

February 2016: Stupp and coworkers describe an intriguing case of a simultaneous dynamic covalent AND supramolecular polymerization.

January 2016: You and coworkers established quantitative reactivity scales for reversible reactions, which can be used for predicting equilibrium distributions based on empirical parameters (in analogy to Mayr’s reactivity scales for predicting the kinetics of irreversible reactions).

December 2015: the groups of Rojo, Delgado, Nierengarten and Martin have prepared huge fullerene/carbohydrate dendrons that were found to inhibit the infection by an artificial Ebola virus.

November 2015: Zeng and coworkers describe a comprehensive study (combinatorial synthesis, DFT, X-ray, ICP-MS, titrations) on the metal-binding affinities of their tunable pentameric macrocycles.

October 2015: A very elegant dynamic covalent approach for the synthesis of asymmetric hydrophopobic/hydrophilic membranes was reported by Zhang and Barboiu.

September 2015: Gladysz and coworkes describe a new ligand backbone for asymmetric catalysis: certain Michael additions are catalyzed via hydrogen bonding at the periphery of enantiopure Werner complexes comprising a Co(III) centre and three chiral diamine ligands.

August 2015: Chiu and coworkers make use of sodium-templation for the synthesis of interesting oligomeric [2]catenanes

July 2015: In their excellent perspective “Rise of the Molecular Machines“, Euan Kay and Dave Leigh tell us “what to make and why.” Interestingly, a feature named “March of the Machines” and a comprehensive review on “Artificial Molecular Machines” appeared just a few weeks later.

June 2015: Aida and coworkers report the first case of a supramolecular polymer that forms via a “living” chain-growth process.

May 2015: Giuseppone and coworkers report on a polymeric material that incorporates light-driven rotary motors, which drastically “wind up” the polymer chains, resulting in macroscopic shrinkage of the material. Another fine example of molecular motors performing macroscopic work!

April 2015: Stoddart and coworkers describe a [4]rotaxane that allows stimuli-induced modulation of its solid-state (!) fluorescence.

March 2015: Ivan Huc and coworkers demonstrate surprisingly selective binding of tricky guest fructose in the cavity of helical oligoamide foldamers.

February 2015: George Whitesides has published a thought-inspiring essay on “Reinventing chemistry“, including 52 instances of the term system(s) and 25 instances of the term complex(ity).

January 2015: A highly promising non-fullerene electron acceptor for organic solar cells (PCE 4.1% with P3HT) is described by a collaborative research project based at Imperial College, UK.

December 2014: Itami and coworkers describe the first synthesis of CPTs (CycloPhenyleneThienylenes), in which radial conjugation leads to highly unusual electronic properties.

November 2014: Schalley and Jiang review recent progress on integrative self-sorting (a supramolecular “synthesis strategy” also championed by the groups of Schmittel and Nitschke).

October 2014: the groups of Samori and Lehn have studied a dynamic covalent exchange reaction at the solid/liquid interface using scanning tunneling microscopy. 

September 2014: Paul Beer and coworkers have described an interesting [2]rotaxane in which addition of iodide leads to net shuttling away from a hydrogen bonding site towards a halogen bonding site on the thread.

August 2014: From a total of 30 subcomponents, Kay Severin and coworkers have (self-)assembled the largest non-DNA Solomon link to date.

July 2014: The groups of Andrew Cooper and Rahul Banerjee describe two creative approaches for stabilizing porous imine cages and frameworks. 

June 2014: Jeremy Sanders and coworkers have perfected their ‘semi-serendipitous’ approach for the dynamic covalent synthesis of knots and links.

May 2014: The groups of Pittelkow and Xu independently describe diselenide exchange as a new entry to the toolbox of Dynamic Covalent Chemistry.

April 2014: In a system composed of three different self-assembled M4L4-cages and three different molecular guests, Jonathan Nitscke and coworkers demonstrate impressive control over cage formation (self-sorting), guest encapsulation (selective) and guest release (sequential). 

March 2014: The groups of Ramesh Jasti and Shigeru Yamago report independently on the first synthesis of [5]cycloparaphenylene ([5]CPP).

February 2014: Michael Juricek, J. Fraser Stoddart, Jay S. Siegel et al. report on “Induced-fit catalysis of corannulene bowl-to-bowl inversion“.

January 2014: Adam Wilson, Giulio Gasparini and Stefan Matile review “Functional systems with orthogonal dynamic covalent bonds“.