11 Essential Chemistry Research Topics

ACS Publications regularly produces Virtual Collections of the most important research topics in chemistry research, including Special Issues and ACS Selects from across the portfolio journals. These collections reflect topics of current scientific interest and are designed for experienced investigators and educators alike.

Machine Learning

Machine Learning (ML) is assuming an increasingly important role in physical chemistry research. These novel applications range from property correlations and predictions, materials discovery, representations of force fields and potential energy surfaces, creation of more reliable density functionals, and data analysis, just to name a few. In this virtual issue, a collection of recent papers published in The Journal of Physical Chemistry (JPC), including JPC ABC and Letters applying ML to physical chemistry problems are presented along with an editorial.

Hybrid Perovskites for Multijunction Tandem Solar Cells and Solar Fuel

Metal halide perovskite solar cells, which have reached an efficiency of greater than 22%, have drawn the attention of energy researchers worldwide. Efforts are underway to commercialize perovskite photovoltaics and make them a competitive technology. Although a single junction perovskite solar cell is not likely to exceed the efficiency of a single junction silicon solar cell (~26%), it offers new opportunities to maximize the photoconversion efficiency. One such procedure is to segregate the absorption of incident light based on the semiconductors that are placed in tandem with a gradient bandgap, a technique that is commonly referred to as multijunction photovoltaics. To bring attention to this area of research, this virtual issue highlights papers recently published in three Letters journals of ACS Publications (ACS Energy LettersThe Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, and Nano Letters) that focus on the development of multijunction tandem perovskite solar cells and tandem design to drive photocatalytic generation of solar fuels.

Dynamic Nanomaterials Phenomena Investigated with In-Situ TEM

This virtual issue from Nano Letters, collated by Matthew McDowell, Katherine Jungjohann, and Umberto Celano, highlights the significant progress made in recent years in understanding the dynamic, real-time behavior of nanomaterials under various environments and stimuli via the use of in-situ TEM.

Advances in Electroanalytical Chemistry

Electroanalytical chemistry is a subfield of electrochemistry focused on the development of new techniques, methods, and modified electrodes for quantitative analytical investigations. In recent years, techniques and methods in this field are transitioning from requiring large quantities of sample/analyte to studying single molecules, single entities, and the very thin electrode/electrolyte interface. This ACS Select Virtual Issue highlights publications in the field of electroanalytical chemistry from the Journal of the American Chemical Society, Analytical Chemistry, and ACS Sensors over the last year. Although there are many outstanding contributions, these selections showcase the diversity of applications of electroanalytical chemistry, from a fundamental understanding of the electrode double layer to futuristic applications in fitness monitoring.

Veronica Vaida Festschrift

Over her career, Professor Veronica Vaida has made significant and important contributions to our understanding of fundamental chemical processes. During the past 30 years, Veronica’s research, teaching, and service have placed her chemistry in the context of central problems that impact society, namely, climate change and air quality, and have addressed many questions surrounding the way in which important biochemicals were formed in a prebiotic time. Her career is marked by creative, bold moves and has followed a trajectory of increasing chemical complexity.


Highlighting Selected Women Analytical Chemists

We have assembled a virtual issue featuring talented women chemists who publish in Analytical Chemistry. While the list of authors featured in this virtual issue is not nearly exhaustive of all the contributions by women, we feel that these works represent some of the best papers written since 2015 with women corresponding authors. Read this issue to find 36 exciting advances that embody the scope of Analytical Chemistry.

In Memory of George R. Aiken

George Aiken was a pioneer in the field of dissolved organic matter (DOM) and the role it plays in chemical reactions of environmental importance. His work led to the enhanced understanding of the chemistry of DOM, as it applies to natural and engineered environments. This virtual special issue from Environmental Science & Technology celebrates his contributions, and includes 20 publications that encompass the wide variety of topics that he worked on during his illustrious career. An accompanying editorial summarizes Aiken’s career and provides highlights of his work.

W. Lester S. Andrews Festschrift

It is with great pleasure that we honor Lester Andrews with a virtual special issue on his 75th year. Lester has been doing science at a very high level for a long time beginning in the early 1960s, and he is still extremely active in his laboratory at the University of Virginia and his trips to Germany to collaborate at the Freiburg Universität and Freie UniversitätBerlin. We have chosen The Journal of Physical Chemistry for this Festschrift as Lester has published more than one-third of his more than 865 papers in the Journal. This demonstrates real support of the Journal and for its scientific audience. It also speaks to the fact that Lester is a physical chemist in the broadest sense of this description.

Synthetic Chemistry Addressing Challenges in Energy and the

This ACS Select Virtual Issue features 24 papers from Inorganic Chemistry and The Journal of the American Chemical Society highlighting research on the human quest to develop new sustainable energy sources and to remediate and protect the environment. A special feature of this Virtual Issue is that the papers all originate from research groups led by women chemists. Many of these scientists participated in a Division of Inorganic Chemistry symposium “Synthetic Chemistry Addressing Challenges in Energy & the Environment” at the ACS national meeting in New Orleans on March 18, 2018.

New Tools and Methods in Experiment and Theory

This collection of papers and the accompanying editorial describe the type of work that might be included in the new section of the Journal of Physical Chemistry A, which is focused on New Tools and Methods in Experiment and Theory. While we have encouraged submission of such theoretical and computational manuscripts, we are extending this to include work that describes new experimental techniques and methods. The papers included in this issue were published in JPC A, B, and C, and the new section, while part of JPC A, will include new methods that are appropriate to study the systems and topics covered in all three parts of the Journal.

Advanced Materials for Engineering Applications

Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research is pleased to publish this virtual special issue of twenty recent articles touching on different aspects of advanced materials for engineering applications. The VSI contains contributed articles along with invited research articles from authors who made outstanding presentations at the 253rd ACS National Meeting in San Francisco. The theme of the ACS National Meeting was “Advanced Materials, Technologies, Systems, and Processes”. Applications in view within this collection include catalysis, separations, electrochemistry, drug delivery, cement chemistry, and microwave absorption. Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research is delighted to showcase these 20 articles and feature these authors. The invited speakers from ACS San Francisco are indicated below by their name in bold.

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