Synthetic Methods for 3,4-Fused Tricyclic Indoles via Indole Ring Formation

And a 1, and a 2, and a 1,2… 3,4-Fused tricyclic indole frameworks are found in various bioactive natural products and pharmaceuticals. The development of an efficient synthetic method for this structural motif has therefore attracted attention in the field of synthetic organic chemistry and medicinal chemistry. This focus review summarizes recent advances in the synthesis of 3,4-fused tricyclic indoles, especially focusing on synthetic methods via indole ring formation.

[Focus Review]

Prof. Dr. Tetsuhiro Nemoto, Dr. Shingo Harada, Dr. Masaya Nakajima


Gold-Catalyzed Transformations of Propargyl Alcohols and Propargyl Amines

Gold-driven: The development of homogeneous gold catalysts has benefited organic synthesis greatly. This Focus Review presents diverse transformations of two useful building blocks, propargyl alcohols and propargyl amines, under gold catalysis.

[Focus Review]

Bing Zhang, Dr. Tao Wang


Ladder-Type Heteroarene-Based Organic Semiconductors

Climbing the semiconductor ladder: Recent advances in ladder-type heteroarene-based organic semiconductors, such as hole- and electron-transporting molecular semiconductors, and fully ladder-type conjugated polymers for applications in organic photovoltaics (OPVs) and field-effect transistors (OFETs) have been explored (see figure). The latest developments in ladder-type fused-ring electron acceptors are also elaborated.

[Focus Review]

Dr. Jianhua Chen, Dr. Kun Yang, Xin Zhou, Prof. Dr. Xugang Guo


Transition-Metal-Catalyzed Three-Component Difunctionalizations of Alkenes

It takes three! Three-component reactions can directly convert three reactants into products in one pot and thus greatly shorten the synthetic path (see figure). Recently, transition-metal catalysis has been applied in the difunctionalization of alkenes and remarkable progress has been achieved to facilitate the construction of a wide range of functional molecules with high atom- and step-economic efficiency. Recent advances in this field are highlighted.

[Focus Review]

Ji-Shu Zhang, Dr. Long Liu, Prof. Dr. Tieqiao Chen, Prof. Dr. Li-Biao Han


Atom-Economical Applications of Diaryliodonium Salts

Atom economy: The purpose of the present review is to focus on various atom-economical applications of diaryliodonium salt methodologies, which have been reported recently for the synthesis of functionalized molecules.

[Focus Review]

Dr. Ming Wang, Shihao Chen, Prof. Dr. Xuefeng Jiang


N-Heterocyclic Carbene (NHC)-Organocatalyzed Kinetic Resolutions, Dynamic Kinetic Resolutions, and Desymmetrizations

Making resolutions: N-Heterocyclic carbene (NHC)-organocatalyzed kinetic resolution, dynamic kinetic resolution, and desymmetrization reactions are summarized and reviewed in this paper (see figure). The aim is to highlight the importance and elegance of these methods in the construction of chiral functional molecules and to provide our perspective on future development in this direction.

[Focus Review]

Zhongyao Wang, Dingwu Pan, Tingting Li, Prof. Zhichao Jin


Hyperbranched Polymers with Controllable Topologies for Drug Delivery

Hyper active: Hyperbranched polymers with controllable topologies are promising nanocarriers for biomedical applications. These polymers have a large amount of intramolecular cavities for drug loading and terminal groups for drug conjugation. The synthesis of hyperbranched polymers and strategies to control their topologies are discussed. The use of hyperbranched polymers for drug delivery is highlighted.

[Focus Review]

Qingfu Ban, Dr. Wen Sun, Prof. Jie Kong, Dr. Si Wu


Developments in the Chemistry of α-Carbonyl Alkyl Bromides

α-Carbonyl alkyl bromides: Recent advances in the transition-metal-catalyzed intermolecular C−H functionalization, cross-coupling reactions, and intramolecular cyclization of simple alkynes, alkenes, and 1,n-enynes with α-carbonyl alkyl bromides are summarized. The facile and mild synthetic methods were used for the synthesis of new biologically active compounds.

[Focus Review]

Xuan-Hui Ouyang, Prof. Dr. Ren-Jie Song, Prof. Dr. Jin-Heng Li


Chelating Bis(N-Heterocyclic Carbene) Palladium-Catalyzed Reactions

Linking ligands: N-Heterocyclic carbenes (NHCs) have been widely employed in the construction of various metal complexes and applied in the field of catalysis (see figure). In this review, a series of palladium complexes comprising chelating bis(NHC) donors are outlined according to their application in homogeneous catalysis, with the main focus on the Mizoroki-Heck, Suzuki-Miyaura, and Sonogashira coupling reactions.

[Focus Review]

Dr. Ji-Quan Liu, Xing-Xing Gou, Prof. Ying-Feng Han


Synthesis of Oxazolidin-2-ones from Unsaturated Amines with CO2 by Using Homogeneous Catalysis

Cat. on a hot tin roof: The synthesis of oxazolidin-2-ones by using CO2 is a very important reaction that has been heavily studied. This Focus Review provides a brief introduction of the synthesis of oxazolidin-2-ones from unsaturated amines that contain alkynes, alkenes, and allenes with CO2 by using homogeneous catalysis.

[Focus Review]

Dr. Zhen Zhang, Jian-Heng Ye, Dong-Shan Wu, Yu-Qin Zhou, Prof. Dr. Da-Gang Yu


Impact of Higher-Order Structuralization on the Adsorptive Properties of Metal-Organic Frameworks

A more structured approach: The structuralization of metal-organic frameworks and their assembly into higher-order architectures can play a crucial role in determining their adsorptive performance. In particular, the influence of structural manipulations at the nanoscale and the mesoscale are described (see figure).

[Focus Review]

Oliver M. Linder-Patton, Brock T. Rogers, Dr. Kenji Sumida


Oxygenates from the Electrochemical Reduction of Carbon Dioxide

To ERR is human: The CO2 electrochemical reduction reaction (CO2ERR) to give oxygenates is highly attractive, because low-grade renewable electrical energy can be converted into valued compounds and the emission of carbon and energy tension can also be alleviated. This review introduces basic principles and factors that influence the CO2ERR and describes advances in typical electrocatalysts used to prepare oxygenates through the CO2ERR.

[Focus Review]

Guanghui Feng, Prof. Wei Chen, Baiyin Wang, Dr. Yanfang Song, Guihua Li, Prof. Jianhui Fang, Prof. Wei Wei, Prof. Yuhan Sun


Manganese-Catalyzed Hydrosilylation Reactions

Causing a reaction: The manganese-catalyzed hydrosilylation of alkenes, alkynes, and carbonyl-containing substrates has developed extensively in recent years. In this focus review, hydrosilylation reactions mediated by manganese catalysts are summarized and the underlying mechanisms are discussed (see scheme).

[Focus Review]

Xiaoxu Yang, Prof. Congyang Wang


Electroactive Amphiphiles for Addressable Supramolecular Nanostructures

It's in the game: An exciting class of materials, electroactive amphiphiles (EAAs), are highlighted herein. This class of functional amphiphilic molecules has been the subject of sporadic investigations over the last decades. The authors attempted to gather the most important contributions, provide a framework in which to discuss them, and, more importantly, point towards the areas where they believed these EAAs could contribute to solving wider scientific problems and open new opportunities.

[Focus Review]

E. J. Townsend, M. Alotaibi, Dr. B. M. Mills, Dr. K. Watanabe, Dr. A. M. Seddon, Prof. Dr. C. F. J. Faul


Electrochemical Methods as Enabling Tools for Glycosylation

Electrochemical methods initiated by single electron transfer (SET) are powerful methods for oligosaccharide synthesis. In these methods, oxidation potentials of glycosyl donors are important and tunable parameters that reflect their reactivity under anodic oxidation conditions.

[Focus Review]

Sujit Manmode, Prof. Kouichi Matsumoto, Prof. Toshiki Nokami, Prof. Toshiyuki Itoh


Non-Bonding Interactions Enable the Selective Formation of Branched Products in Palladium-Catalyzed Allylic Substitution Reactions

Branch Manager: A wide range of palladium-catalyzed allylic substitution reactions with high selectivities for the branched products have been developed by utilizing non-bonding interactions. This Focus Review highlights these advances and explains how such interactions can be used to switch the regioselectivity from linear to branched products.

[Focus Review]

Ya-Ni Wang, Prof. Liang-Qiu Lu, Prof. Wen-Jing Xiao


Recent Progress in (Dynamic) Kinetic Resolution Catalyzed by N-Heterocyclic Carbenes

Plenty of resolve: Recent progress in the application of NHC catalysis to kinetic resolution is discussed, according to the structure of the racemic compounds, including alcohols, amines, imines, and aldehydes, along with dynamic kinetic resolution.

[Focus Review]

Shihao Chen, Dr. Yu-Hua Shi, Dr. Ming Wang


Sulfur-Center-Involved Photocatalyzed Reactions

Super sulfur! Sulfur-containing compounds (SCCs; see figure) with multifarious functions have prompted scientists to construct them in greener and more efficient ways and exploit their properties. Different photosensitizers with sulfur atoms have been developed and exploited. SCCs also display excellent ability in hydrogen-atom-transfer reactions. Additionally, SCCs can also be efficiently transformed under visible-light-promoted conditions.

[Focus Review]

Yuhong Wang, Dr. Yiming Li, Prof. Xuefeng Jiang


Evolution of Isoindigo-Based Electron-Deficient Units for Organic Electronics: From Natural Dyes to Organic Semiconductors

Electric indigo: This Focus Review describes recent progress in the structural optimization of isoindigo-based organic optoelectronic materials and provides guidance for the design of high-performance isoindigo derivatives for organic electronics.

[Focus Review]

Dr. Jiu-Long Li, Dr. Jing-Jing Cao, Lin-Lin Duan, Prof. Hao-Li Zhang


Surface Engineering of Two-dimensional Materials

Functionalization of 2D materials. Introducing vacancies, foreign atoms, and adatoms into graphene lattices and the construction of diverse heterostructures of transition metal dichalcogenides are summarized in this Focus Review.

[Focus Review]

Dr. Tianchao Niu, Dr. Jialin Zhang, Prof. Dr. Wei Chen


Ruthenium-Mediated Distal C−H Activation

Active duty: Ruthenium-mediated distal C−H activation has emerged as a promising alternative in recent decades. Both meta- and para-selective products can be obtained with excellent selectivities by using this strategy. This review summarizes chronological developments in the field with mechanistic details.

[Focus Review]

Farheen Fatima Khan, Soumya Kumar Sinha, Prof. Goutam Kumar Lahiri, Prof. Debabrata Maiti


Self-Assembly of 1D Helical Nanostructures into Higher Order Chiral Nanostructures in Supramolecular Systems

Do the twist: A selection of higher order chiral nano/microstructures self-assembled from four basic helical nanostructures are reviewed. Their applications, including asymmetric catalysis, cell adhesion, chiral optics and chiral recognition are also discussed.

[Focus Review]

Hejin Jiang, Dr. Li Zhang, Prof. Dr. Minghua Liu


Recent Advances in the Catalytic Enantioselective Reactions of para-Quinone Methides

Mind your ps and QMs: This review brings together the most significant results concerning the catalytic enantioselective reactions of para-quinone methides and provided the first complete picture of developments in this important transformation.

[Focus Review]

Dr. Wenjun Li, Xianhong Xu, Pengfei Zhang, Dr. Pengfei Li


Synthetic Applications of Transition-Metal-Catalyzed C−P Bond Cleavage

Alternatives for activation: The synthetic potential, scope, limitations, and mechanistic understanding of transition-metal-catalyzed C−P bond transformations are reviewed (see figure). It is hoped that this review not only provides an account of the state of the art in the field, but also highlights the future potential of these reactions in organic synthesis. Is=2,4,6-(iPr)3C6H2.

[Focus Review]

Dr. Lili Wang, Dr. Hui Chen, Prof. Dr. Zheng Duan


Recent Progress in Using Pyrene-4,5-diketones and Pyrene-4,5,9,10-tetraketones as Building Blocks to Construct Large Acenes and Heteroacenes

You′re creating a-cene! Recent progress in synthetic efforts to access pyrene-functionalized acenes and heteroacenes from pyrene diketone and pyrene tetraketone building blocks is reviewed. The favorable physical properties and applications of these materials in organic semiconductor devices are also described.

[Focus Review]

Pengcheng Jin, Tingting Song, Prof. Jinchong Xiao, Prof. Qichun Zhang


New Strategies in the Design of Nanomedicines to Oppose Uptake by the Mononuclear Phagocyte System and Enhance Cancer Therapeutic Efficacy

Enhancing nanomedicines: Nanomedicines are attracting considerable attention as treatments for tumors. However, the sequestration of nanomaterials by the mononuclear phagocyte system (MPS; see figure, PEG=polyethylene glycol) in vivo is still a challenge. Different approaches to reduce this uptake of nanomedicines and increase the concentration at sites of interest are presented, and future prospects in this area are considered.

[Focus Review]

Yiming Zhou, Prof. Zhifei Dai


Ruthenium-Catalyzed Aerobic Oxidation of Amines

Transition-metal-catalyzed aerobic oxidations of amines remain at the core of fundamental organic reactions owing to the value-added products formed. Ruthenium, on the other hand, is widely utilized for various oxidative transformations. This review summarizes the specific use of ruthenium catalysts in aerobic oxidation of amines. Moreover, it focuses on the mechanistic detail in each case and challenges that still need to be addressed.

[Focus Review]

Ritwika Ray, Dr. Arijit Singha Hazari, Prof. Goutam Kumar Lahiri, Prof. Debabrata Maiti