NChem Research Highlights: p interactions, field-effect transistors and ion recognition

Mar 26, 2019

Tuesday already! How time flies… Wait no longer, here are this week’s Research Highlights.

The role of aromatic p-p interactions mustn’t be underestimated — they contribute to many biological functions, including pretty crucial ones like the stability of DNA, or drug binding. In previous studies benzene rings had received most of the attention, but you can now find out how heteroatoms affect these interactions.

How about a high-performance, photosensitive, nanoscale field-effect transistor? It is all possible thanks to the self-assembly of organic molecules into columns within the nanogaps of a carbon nanotube…

When it comes to ion recognition, selective binding to chloride (essential to human health) versus, say, cyanide (notably harmful) is essential. Steve tells us about a receptor that captures chloride and determines its concentration even in the presence of significant amounts of water, like in sports drinks.

And finally… although no metric can really quantify the value of scientific research, how can we estimate the importance of a particular paper? The number of citations? The Impact Factor of the journal? It looks like Google’s PageRank algorithm might be able to help


Anne Pichon (Associate Editor, Nature Chemistry)

Anne Pichon

Senior Editor, Nature Chemistry, Springer Nature

Anne received a broad training in chemistry at the National Graduate School of Chemistry in Montpellier, France. She then focused on inorganic and supramolecular chemistry and obtained her MPhil and PhD degrees from the Queen's University Belfast, UK, investigating porous coordination polymers for host–guest applications. After an internship with Nature Reviews Drug Discovery, Anne moved to John Wiley and Sons in 2007 as an assistant editor of the Society of Chemical Industry journals. She joined Nature Chemistry in October 2008, and was initially based in Tokyo where she also worked on other publishing projects with Nature Asia-Pacific. In April 2013, Anne relocated to the London office and now works full time on the journal.

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