‘Dip Catalysts’ Based on Polymer-Metal Nanocomposite Thin Films: Combining Soft-Chemical Fabrication with Efficient Application and Monitoring

Dapper dipping: Efficient soft-chemical fabrication, recycling and monitoring are enabled by the ‘dip catalyst’ design of polymer-metal nanocomposite thin films. This Focus Review highlights the creation of these catalysts and their sustainable use.

[Focus Review]

U. Divya Madhuri, Dr. Jony Saha, Prof. T. P. Radhakrishnan


Cycloparaphenylenes (CPPs): An Overview of Synthesis, Properties, and Potential Applications

Carbon nanohoops: Cycloparaphenylenes (CPPs) have attracted significant attention from theoretical, synthetic, supramolecular and material chemists in the past decade. This Focus Review highlights the representative synthetic strategies to CPPs, providing an overview of recent advances in the synthesis and property investigations of CPPs and its derivatives. The potential applications of CPPs have been discussed as well.

[Focus Review]

Dr. Di Wu, Wei Cheng, Xiangtao Ban, Prof. Dr. Jianlong Xia


Structure and Functionality of Polyelectrolyte Brushes: A Surface Force Perspective

Brush it off: This Focus Review gives a brief overview of recent theoretical and experimental progress in understanding the structure of polyelectrolyte brushes in various environments. We also highlight the use of these surface-grafted polyelectrolyte films in the creation of functional surfaces for various applications, including nonfouling surfaces, boundary lubricants, and stimuli-responsive surfaces.

[Focus Review]

Dr. Xin Xu, Dr. Mark Billing, Prof. Marina Ruths, Prof. Harm-Anton Klok, Prof. Jing Yu


Recent Advances in the Creation of Asymmetric Carbon Centre(s) by Generation of Carbon-Heteroatom Bond(s) Using Metal-Pybox Complexes

The review summarizes the reactions involving various Pybox-metal combinations used for asymmetric C-heteroatom bond manipulations. The applications of these reactions in the formation of important compounds, including heterocycles, are also discussed.

[Focus Review]

K. R. Rohit, Sankuviruthiyil M. Ujwaldev, Salim Saranya, Prof. Dr. Gopinathan Anilkumar


Hole-Transporting Materials for Perovskite Solar Cells

Hole transport materials (HTMs) remain indispensable in perovskite solar cells (PSCs), an overview of the diverse types of hole-transporting material is provided, from inorganic to organic, in the hope of encouraging further research and the optimization of these HTMs. Furthermore, on the basic of existing related research, a new design concept of how to design these materials to obtain high-efficiency PSC is proposed.

[Focus Review]

Fan Liu, Prof. Qianqian Li, Prof. Zhen Li


Organic Mechanoluminescence with Aggregation-Induced Emission

Glowing on grinding: Mechanoluminescent (ML) materials have seen remarkable breakthroughs in recent years. It has been discovered that many ML materials also display aggregation-induced emission (AIE) properties. In this focus review, ML materials and ML-AIE materials are summarized to established the relationship between ML properties and molecular arrangements (molecular aggregation packing modes, strong intermolecular interactions, and symmetries).

[Focus Review]

Dr. Eethamukkala Ubba, Dr. Yu Tao, Dr. Zhiyong Yang, Dr. Juan Zhao, Dr. Leyu Wang, Prof. Zhenguo Chi


Lyotropic Chromonic Mesophases Derived from Metal-Organic Complexes

Meso soup: Lyotropic chromonic mesophases that are derived from metal-organic complexes are discussed, including their categorization, characterization, and potential applications.

[Focus Review]

Qin Gao, Dr. Chao Zou, Prof. Dr. Wei Lu


Two-Dimensional Materials for Antimicrobial Applications: Graphene Materials and Beyond

2D antibacterial agents: Recent progress in the antimicrobial applications of two-dimensional materials, such as graphene materials (GMs), layered double hydroxides (LDHs), transition-metal dichalcogenides (TMDs), graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4), MXenes, black phosphorus (BP), and their derivatives, is summarized (see figure).

[Focus Review]

Wei Sun, Prof. Fu-Gen Wu


Materials Nanoarchitectonics for Mechanical Tools in Chemical and Biological Sensing

Sensor design: Nanoarchitectonic approaches for mechanical-action-based chemical and biological sensors are briefly discussed. In particular, recent examples of piezoelectric devices, such as quartz crystal microbalances (QCM and QCM-D) and a membrane-type surface stress sensor (MSS), are introduced. Sensors need well-designed nanostructured sensing materials for the sensitive and selective detection of specific targets (see figure).

[Focus Review]

Dr. Joshua A. Jackman, Prof. Dr. Nam-Joon Cho, Dr. Michihiro Nishikawa, Dr. Genki Yoshikawa, Dr. Taizo Mori, Dr. Lok Kumar Shrestha, Prof. Dr. Katsuhiko Ariga


Stimuli-Responsive Lanthanide-Based Smart Luminescent Materials for Optical Encoding and Bio-applications

Stimuli-responsive lanthanide-based luminescent materials have been widely studied for optical encoding and biology due to the intrinsic properties of lanthanide ions and luminescence responsiveness to multiple external stimuli including light, temperature, pH, electric fields, magnetic fields, and molecules. This Focus Review summarizes the progress of lanthanide-based smart luminescent materials in these areas.

[Focus Review]

Yiwei Yang, Pingru Su, Prof. Yu Tang


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


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


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


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