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The Molecular Nature of Touch

The Spring 2022 National American Chemical Society (ACS) meeting held in San Diego, California, was a hybrid meeting that featured a wide range of science topics. The offerings showcased the vast diversity of the chemical sciences and the increasingly integrated nature of the projects. 

Believe it or not, using touch, people can distinguish between texture differences down to one atom. Charles Dhong’s group at the University of Delaware has been investigating the human ability to distinguish different textures by touch. Swapping out one element in a polymer can change the way the molecules line up in the bulk sample, and in polymers, that changes their crystallinity: how orderly they pack together.

These chemical differences can be distinguished using your fingertip in the same way you can feel the difference on the surface of a glass before and after you put it in the dishwasher. Before it goes in, the surface is smooth, and your fingers move over the surface easily. Afterward, it feels rougher, and your fingers don’t move as easily. The same thing happens when atoms are substituted into a polymer and the polymer crystallinity is disturbed: when a polymer is more crystalline, it feels smooth; less crystalline, it feels rough. Dhong’s group is looking at how people perceive differences in touch and how small the differences can be before they become undetectable. Dhong foresses that the applications of this are varied, from better devices, such as braille displays, to providing additional sensory information, to surgeons during remote procedures.

News briefing from the meeting:

Video media briefing:

Recent American Chemical Society publications on this topic:

Three-Dimensional Self-Healable Touch Sensing Artificial Skin Device
Sulbin Park, Byeong-Gwang Shin, Seongwan Jang, and Kyeongwoon Chung*

Silk Fibroin Nanocomposites with Indium Tin Oxide toward Sustainable Capacitive Touch Sensing Applications
Ander Reizabal*, Nelson Castro, Nelson Pereira, Carlos M. Costa*, Leyre Pérez, José Luis Vilas-Vilela, and Senentxu Lanceros-Méndez

Virtual Environment for Studying the Docking Interactions of Rigid Biomolecules with Haptics
Georgios Iakovou, Steven Hayward*, and Stephen D. Laycock

Haptic-Assisted Interactive Molecular Docking Incorporating Receptor Flexibility
Nick Matthews, Akio Kitao, Stephen Laycock*, and Steven Hayward*


Recent publications by this group:

Interfacial Drawing: Roll-to-Roll Coating of Semiconducting Polymer and Barrier Films onto Plastic Foils and Textiles
Rory Runser, Samuel E. Root, Derick E. Ober, Kartik Choudhary, Alex X. Chen, Charles Dhong, Armando D. Urbina, and Darren J. Lipomi*

Optics-Free, Non-Contact Measurements of Fluids, Bubbles, and Particles in Microchannels Using Metallic Nano-Islands on Graphene
Charles Dhong, Samuel J. Edmunds, Julian Ramírez, Laure V. Kayser, Fang Chen, Jesse V. Jokerst, and Darren J. Lipomi*


Cancer-Sniffing Worms

The Spring 2022 National American Chemical Society (ACS) meeting held in San Diego, California, was a hybrid meeting that featured a wide range of science topics. The offerings showcased the vast diversity of the chemical sciences and the increasingly integrated nature of the projects. 

Most people would not be surprised that dogs can be trained to sniff out cancer, but few would consider that a microscopic nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans, might be used as an early detection method for lung cancer. Researchers at the Myongji University in Korea have shown that C. elegans does seem to prefer the smell of lung cancer cells. When placed on a microfluidic chip the size of a microscope slide, with lung cancer cells on one side and healthy cells on the other, the microscopic worms move toward the cancerous cells. Shin Sik Choi’s group hypothesizes that the flowery smell of the cancer cells is similar to the worm’s favorite food. They have also used urine samples from healthy people and those with lung cancer; again, the C. elegans migrated toward the urine from cancer patients. Just like using dogs, C. elegans provides a noninvasive way of detecting cancer at the earliest stages, when it is more treatable—but with an organism much easier to maintain than dogs. Researchers plan to test the usefulness of analyzing urine, saliva, and breath in these microfluidic devices containing C. elegans in clinical trials designed to detect early-stage lung and other cancers.

News briefing from the meeting:


Related American Chemical Society publications on this topic:

Japan harnesses creepy-crawlies
Katsumori Matsuoka

Exploring Living Multicellular Organisms, Organs, and Tissues Using Microfluidic Systems
Venkataragavalu Sivagnanam and Martin A. M. Gijs

Effect of Cannabidiol on the Neural Glyoxalase Pathway Function and Longevity of Several C. elegans Strains Including a C. elegans Alzheimer’s Disease Model
Joel Frandsen and Prabagaran Narayanasamy


Call for Papers: Forum on Recent Advances in Biomaterials Research in the East Asia Pacific Region

In early 2023, ACS Applied Bio Materials (CiteScore 4.9 in 2021) will publish a Special Issue showcasing recent research advances from teams in the East Asia Pacific Region. Do you have a research report to include? Submit your manuscript by Dec 31st, 2022.

ACS Applied Bio Materials began publication in 2018 with strong representation of researchers in  the East Asia Pacific region: approximately 50% of our total number of articles published. By 2021, articles from this region increased to approximately 53%, demonstrating the volume and quality of research in the field of applied biomaterials.

The Editors of ACS Applied Bio Materials invite you and your team to join them in celebrating the vast and vibrant biomaterials research conducted in the East Asia Pacific region by taking part in this Special Issue.

The editor committee of this Forum:

Prof. Jong Seung Kim, Associate Editor of ACS Applied Bio Materials

Prof. Chaoyong Yang, Associate Editor of ACS Applied Bio Materials

Prof. Hao Yan, Associate Editor of ACS Applied Bio Materials

Prof. Shu Wang, Deputy Editor of ACS Applied Bio Materials

Prof. Kirk Schanze, Editor-in-Chief of ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces

Geographical coverage will include teams with at least one author based at universities and research institutions in the following countries/regions:

  • Australia
  • China
  • Indonesia
  • Japan
  • Republic of Korea
  • Malaysia
  • New Zealand
  • Singapore
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam

To join this Special Issue (Forum), please indicate that your manuscript is intended for the forum “Recent Advances in Biomaterials Research in the East Asia Pacific Region” in the cover letter of the submission to ACS Applied Bio Materials.

Areas of particular topical interest include:

  • DNA/RNA delivery materials;
  • Photodynamic/ photothermal therapy materials;
  • Antiviral/Antimicrobial materials & surfaces;
  • Biomaterials for tissue engineering applications.

Manuscripts submitted for consideration for this Special Issue will undergo the same rigorous peer review process expected from ACS journals. Authors whose manuscripts are accepted for publication can expect to be informed within 10 weeks of their submission date.

Other submissions in research areas within the scope of ACS Applied Bio Materials are also welcome. For details of our manuscript types and requirements, please consult the Author Guidelines.

If you have questions about the scope and/or about publishing in ACS Applied Bio Materials, please contact the managing editor Dr. Chengmei Zhong (

New ACS Transformative Agreement marks two important firsts

Academic and research institutions across the state of California are among the nation’s highest-publishing organizations, producing hundreds of world class research articles in chemistry every year – and under the newly-announced Read + Publish Agreement, many of these researchers are now able to publish in ACS’ full range of open access and hybrid journals with additional support for publishing costs.

This agreement marks two ‘firsts’: not only is it the first ever California-wide transformative agreement with any publisher, but also the first ACS Read + Publish Agreement which includes multiple consortia. In total, the new agreement covers almost 60 institutions and thousands of researchers, granting both full reading access and affordable open access publishing across the full portfolio of 75+ ACS journals.

The three consortia included in the agreement – California State University system, the Statewide California Electronic Library Consortia (SCELC), and the University of California system – collaborated with ACS to represent the interests of their diverse community of researchers, to make even more of their research and scholarship available to the world, and to find an approach that guarantees an affordable and sustainable route to open access.

This new type of Read + Publish Agreement is unique, in that it engages funder support for open access in alignment with the partnership between the institutes and publisher. As the scholarly publishing industry transitions toward an open access future, innovations like this partnership will be crucial to ensuring that all educational institutions and their researchers can participate in the full benefits of open access publication.

“ACS is very excited about this new agreement, as it takes the workflows behind read and publish deals to the next level,” says Sybille Geisenheyner, Director of Open Science Strategy and Licensing at ACS. “As we embark upon this partnership, we invite funders to engage in this collaboration to support this transformation.”

The agreement is rolling out in two phases. Until early July 2022, affiliated authors will benefit from discounted open access publishing charges, making publication in all ACS journals even more affordable. The second phase, running through the end of 2025, will introduce a new workflow which will help authors make better use of the opportunities provided by their research funder. Authors will also have the option of publishing under a Read + Publish Agreement with their institution if no other funds are available.

ACS is a firm supporter of open science and has invested in programs and technology to make open access as widely available as possible. This includes a wide range of Read + Publish Agreements, which now cover more than 540 institutions in over 25 countries, including institutions which produce the most highly cited chemical research. These are intended to be transformative agreements: a sustainable way for researchers to publish in journals that are the best fit for their research, while increasing the proportion of global research that is freely available to readers with no barriers to access. Institutions and consortia maintain reading access to key parts of the literature, while also providing their authors with full article publishing charge support. Additionally, ACS also publishes more than 60 Transformative Journals: titles which include both subscription access and open access articles, which have made a long-term commitment to becoming fully open access.

“At ACS, we are committed to expanding our partnerships and innovating new ways to advance open access publication in chemistry,” says James Milne, Ph.D., President, ACS Publications Division. “I am confident that institutions around the world will see this collaboration as a prime example of creative thinking supporting the advancement of open science, for the benefit of chemistry and the world.”

More information on this announcement is available in the ACS News Room, and further details about ACS Read + Publish Agreements are available on the ACS Open Science website.

Another Reason to Love Coffee

The Spring 2022 National American Chemical Society (ACS) meeting held in San Diego, California, was a hybrid meeting that featured a wide range of science topics. The offerings showcased the vast diversity of the chemical sciences and the increasingly integrated nature of the projects. This piece focusses on the potential of used coffee grounds to be used in sensitive electrodes capable, one day, of detecting brain waves. 

Coffee grounds are a major component of biowaste. Making porous carbon suitable for electrochemical sensing is a useful way to recycle these castoffs from our morning brews. Brain activity is fast and can be measured using fast-scan cyclic voltammetry, an electrochemical technique that can measure activity as fast as 100 milliseconds. The typical electrodes for neuroscience sensing are fine carbon rods that are hard to make and require harsh chemicals. Recent observations show that porous carbon—carbon that has unique geometric pores—could increase sensing speeds. The Ross Group at the University of Cincinnati turned to their love of coffee as a source of porous carbon. Coffee beans are a good carbon source. They are rich in cellulose and hemicellulose. After the members of the Ross Group enjoy their daily brew, they dry their coffee grounds, treat them with base (potassium hydroxide) to create porous carbon, and stabilize the porous carbon by drying it under nitrogen. The team then uses the porous carbon slurry to coat traditional electrodes. These coated electrodes trap analytes, such as dopamine, in holes in the surface coating. The trapped analytes interact longer with the electrode, which facilitates faster measurement of brain activity. Although principal investigator Ashley Ross admits that use of these electrodes in vivo is still a long way off, the work is promising, and her team has enjoyed the challenge of drinking enough coffee to keep them in starting materials.

News briefing from the meeting:

Video media briefing:

Recent American Chemical Society publications on this topic:

Hierarchically Porous Carbon Nanosheets from Waste Coffee Grounds for Supercapacitors
Young Soo Yun, Min Hong Park, Sung Ju Hong, Min Eui Lee, Yung Woo Park, and Hyoung-Joon Jin
DOI: 10.1021/am5081919

Coffee Waste-Derived Hierarchical Porous Carbon as a Highly Active and Durable Electrocatalyst for Electrochemical Energy Applications
Dong Young Chung, Yoon Jun Son, Ji Mun Yoo, Jin Soo Kang, Chi-Yeong Ahn, Subin Park, and Yung-Eun Sung
DOI: 10.1021/acsami.7b13799

Renewable Coffee Waste-Derived Porous Carbons as Anode Materials for High-Performance Sustainable Microbial Fuel Cells
Yu-Hsuan Hung, Tzu-Yin Liu, and Han-Yi Chen
DOI: 10.1021/acssuschemeng.9b02405

Biomass-Derived Carbon for Electrode Fabrication in Microbial Fuel Cells: A Review
Wei Yang and Shaowei Chen
DOI: 10.1021/acs.iecr.0c00041

Coffee-Ground-Derived Nanoporous Carbon Anodes for Sodium-Ion Batteries with High Rate Performance and Cyclic Stability
Peng-Hsuan Chiang, Shih-Fu Liu, Yu-Hsuan Hung, Hsin Tseng, Chun-Han Guo, and Han-Yi Chen
DOI: 10.1021/acs.energyfuels.0c01105


Recent publications by this group:

Metal Nanoparticle Modified Carbon-Fiber Microelectrodes Enhance Adenosine Triphosphate Surface Interactions with Fast-Scan Cyclic Voltammetry
Yuxin Li, Alexandra L. Keller, Michael T. Cryan, and Ashley E. Ross
DOI: 10.1021/acsmeasuresciau.1c00026

Real-Time Detection of Melatonin Using Fast-Scan Cyclic Voltammetry
Austin L. Hensley, Adam R. Colley, and Ashley E. Ross
DOI: 10.1021/acs.analchem.8b01976

Porous Carbon Nanofiber-Modified Carbon Fiber Microelectrodes for Dopamine Detection
Blaise J. Ostertag, Michael T. Cryan, Joel M. Serrano, Guoliang Liu, and Ashley E. Ross
DOI: 10.1021/acsanm.1c03933

Join ACS Journals at the 26th Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference

ACS Publications is a proud sponsor of the 26th Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering (GC&E) Conference. The conference is a hybrid event this year and has virtual activities beginning Friday, June 3. The in-person conference will be held June 6-8 at the Hyatt Regency in Reston, Virginia. 

Hosted by the American Chemical Society’s Green Chemistry Institute (ACS GCI), this conference highlights the importance of green and sustainable chemistry and engineering, with a special focus on the 2022 theme “Thinking in Systems: Designing for Sustainable Use.”

Below you can learn more about what ACS Publications will be doing at the 2022 GC&E conference.

Virtual Keynotes–ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering Lectureship Awards

Friday, June 3
9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

The Green Chemistry Institute is the co-sponsor of the 2022 ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering Lectureship Awards, and each of the three award winners will be presenting a keynote address during the virtual kickoff of the conference.

  • Dr. Timothy Noël of the Van’t Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences at the University of Amsterdam (The Netherlands), is being honored for his contributions to continuous flow chemistry, building tools that bridge chemistry and chemical engineering.  
  • Dr. Shu-Yuan Pan of the National Taiwan University (Taipei), is being honored for his contributions to the development of innovative circular technologies for waste valorization as biochemicals, green materials, and reclaimed water.  
  • Dr. Corinne Scown of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California, Berkeley (United States), is being honored for her contributions integrating emerging technology development with rigorous technoeconomic analysis and life-cycle assessment.  

Green Expo—Visit the ACS Publications Booth

Monday, June 6th – Wednesday, June 8th 

If you’re attending the conference in person, we hope you’ll stop by the ACS Publications booth in the Green Expo. 

ACS Publications’ journals publish high-quality articles in impactful publications from top authors around the globe. With a comprehensive portfolio of more than 75 journals, including 12 fully open access journals, ACS Publications has a home for every type of article.

Learn more about benefits of publishing with ACS Publications

ACS Journals that Publish Articles on Green Chemistry & Engineering

ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering 

Journal of Chemical Education 

ACS Engineering Au

Environmental Science & Technology (ES&T)

ACS ES&T Engineering 

ACS ES&T Water

Environmental Science & Technology (ES&T) Letters 

ACS Omega 

Industrial & Engineering Chemistry (I&EC) Research

ACS Chemical Health & Safety 



An easier way to submit ChemRxiv research to peer-reviewed journals

Direct Journal Transfer is a free feature of ChemRxiv that helps authors submit their posted preprints from ChemRxiv to established journals for editorial consideration and peer review. This feature, available through the ChemRxiv author dashboard, enables easy direct submission to journals published by the American Chemical Society (ACS), the Chinese Chemical Society (CCS), the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), the German Chemical Society (GDCh), and the Beilstein-Institut. 

We are working to expand this program further, with journals published by Frontiers soon to be added. You can now stay up to date on all the available destination journals on our Direct Journal Transfer webpage.

Chemrxiv direct journal transfer

Recent preprints that went on to be published 

Here are some recent preprints that went on to be published in top peer-reviewed journals such as Angewandte Chemie, JACS, and PNAS. Thank you to all the authors and readers who make ChemRxiv the premier preprint server for the global chemistry community!

Chiral Arene Ligand as Stereocontroller for Asymmetric C-H Activation
By Hao Liang, Weicong Guo, Junxuan Li, Jijun Jiang, Jun Wang
Now published in Angewandte Chemie 

Blatter Radicals as Bipolar Materials for Symmetric Redox-Flow Batteries
By Jelte Steen, Jules Nuismer, Vytautas Eiva, Albert Wiglema, Nicolas Daub, Johan Hjelm, Edwin Otten
Now published in Journal of the American Chemical Society 

Predicting the future of excitation energy transfer in light-harvesting complex with artificial intelligence-based quantum dynamics
By Arif Ullah, Pavlo O. Dral
Now published in Nature Communications 

Surface NMR Using Quantum Sensors in Diamond
By Kristina Liu, Alex Henning, Markus W. Heindl, Robin Allert, Johannes D. Bartl, Ian D. Sharp, Roberto Rizzato, Dominik Benjamin Bucher
Now published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Bread-Eating Fungi Exploited to Make Sustainable Textiles

The Spring 2022 National American Chemical Society (ACS) meeting held in San Diego, California, was a hybrid meeting that featured a wide range of science topics. The offerings showcased the vast diversity of the chemical sciences and the increasingly integrated nature of the projects. This post explores the potential for mushrooms to become a source of sustainable material. 

Mushrooms do have a leathery feel, but Akram Zamani took this to the extreme. Using Rhizopus delemar, a fungus usually found on decaying food, Zamani’s group fed it bread and harvested chitin and chitosan fibers from its cells. These fibers were then spun into strings for use as sutures or wound healing mats. Additionally, the jelly-like residue harvested from the cell walls of the fungi could be spread out and dried into sheets that feel and perform like paper and leather. While biobased replacement textiles are growing in popularity, most of the technology for producing them still relies on petroleum-based feedstocks. The major advantage of the fungal-based textile is the feedstock: food waste. Additionally, what often takes several days in a fermenter or by other fungi only requires about two days of fungal growth because the R. delemar is water based and grows much faster. This type of submerged cultivation is fast and environmentally friendly, turning food waste into value-added textiles.

News briefing from the meeting:

Video media briefing:


Recent ACS Publications articles on this topic:

Uncovering the Mechanical, Thermal, and Chemical Characteristics of Biodegradable Mushroom Leather with Intrinsic Antifungal and Antibacterial Properties
Jenniffer Bustillos, Archana Loganathan, Richa Agrawal, Brittany A. Gonzalez, Marcos Gonzalez Perez, Sharan Ramaswamy, Benjamin Boesl, and Arvind Agarwal

DOI: 10.1021/acsabm.0c00164

Sustainable materials make a play for the leather market
A new crop of biobased-material makers aims to displace chrome-tanned cowhide
Craig Bettenhausen

DOI: 10.1021/cen-09908-feature3

Fungi, enzymes, and closed-loop catalysis offer environmental, economic gains in manufacturing and recycling
Mairin B. Brennan

DOI: 10.1021/cen-v076n012.p039

Chitosan Natural Polymer Material for Improving Antibacterial Properties of Textiles
Jianhui Li, Xiao Tian, Tao Hua, Jimin Fu, Mingkin Koo, Wingming Chan, and Tszyin Poon

DOI: 10.1021/acsabm.1c00078

Physicochemical Properties and Bioactivity of Fungal Chitin and Chitosan
Tao Wu, Svetlana Zivanovic, F. Ann Draughon, William S. Conway, and Carl E. Sams

DOI: 10.1021/jf048202s

Recent publications by this group:

Extraction and Precipitation of Chitosan from Cell Wall of Zygomycetes Fungi by Dilute Sulfuric Acid
Akram Zamani, Lars Edebo, Björn Sjöström∥, and Mohammad J. Taherzadeh

DOI: 10.1021/bm700701w

Determination of Glucosamine in Fungal Cell Walls by High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC)
Marzieh Mohammadi, Akram Zamani, and Keikhosro Karimi

DOI: 10.1021/jf303488w

Effects of Partial Dehydration and Freezing Temperature on the Morphology and Water Binding Capacity of Carboxymethyl Chitosan-Based Superabsorbents
Akram Zamani and Mohammad J. Taherzadeh

DOI: 10.1021/ie100257s

ACS article PDFs now include recommended articles

ACS Publications has introduced an enhancement to the PDF version of ACS journal articles that will assist with your browsing and research discovery. We now feature recommended articles at the end of journal article PDFs that will provide you a link to related research. This serves as a complement to the recommended article list that has appeared on the HTML version of our research articles.

The recommended articles will be located at the end of the PDF as shown here. Read on to find out more:

How many recommended articles will be on a PDF?
Each article can have four recommendations, where space allows. 

How are the article recommendations generated?
Article recommendations are powered by AI, based on a combination of content analysis and viewing patterns. These recommendations will change over time, based on changing viewing patterns of that article and any related ones.

Which journal article PDFs have this enhancement?
ACS journal research articles, rapid communications, and review articles published from December 2021 to the present are eligible for recommendations.  Recommendations will be placed only if there is space on the last page of the PDF. 

Where can I see this feature?
Check out this research article and you will see a list of recommended articles at the end of the PDF.

Meet Organometallics’ 2022 Distinguished Author Award Recipient

Cosponsored by the ACS Division of Organic Chemistry, the ACS Division of Inorganic Chemistry, and Organometallics, the Distinguished Author Award recognizes authors of exceptional articles published in Organometallics in the previous two calendar years that emphasize the importance of organometallic chemistry and have made a profound impact on the field.

Meet the Recipient

Dr. Josep Cornellá of the Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung is recognized for a creative research program applying in-depth mechanistic studies to problems in coordination chemistry and catalysis for sustainable organic syntheses.

Josep Cornella

Dr. Josep Cornella (Pep) graduated in chemistry in 2008 from the University of Barcelona and carried out M.Sc. studies in the Department of Organic Chemistry. After completing his master’s thesis, he moved to the United Kingdom to pursue doctoral studies in the group of Prof. Igor Larrosa (Queen Mary University of London). After obtaining his Ph.D. in 2012, he moved to Catalunya, where he joined the group of Prof. Ruben Martin (ICIQ) as a Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellow. There, he developed novel transformations involving Ni-catalyzed C–O bond activation and carbon dioxide insertion into organic molecules. In 2015, Dr. Cornellá obtained a Beatriu de Pinós Fellowship to carry out further postdoctoral studies in the group of Prof. Phil S. Baran at Scripps Research. During this time at Scripps, he worked on the discovery and implementation of new transformations based on the concept of “redox-active esters” as readily available partners for Ni- and Fe-catalyzed C–C bond forming reactions.

In spring 2017, he was appointed as a Max Planck Group Leader in the Department of Organometallic Chemistry at MPI Kohlenforschung. In summer of the same year, he obtained a Max Planck Research Group Leader (MPRGL) position, to create and lead the Sustainable Catalysis Laboratory. He has been the recipient of an ERC Starting Grant in 2019 and international prizes such as the Bayer Early Excellence in Science Award 2020, 2020 – Dozentenpreis des Fonds, C&EN Talented 12 Class 2020, Heinz Maier-Leibnitz-Preis 2021, Novartis Early Career Award 2021 and Kyoto Rising Star Lectureship (MSD Life Science Foundation – Japan).

Learn more about Dr. Cornellá in this interview.

What does it mean to you to be the recipient of this award?

It is very humbling to receive such an honor, and we certainly take it with great responsibility. It represents an important recognition to many students, research associates and collaborators that have contributed invaluably to this research. Hence, this prize is also theirs.

What prompted you to study this field of chemistry?

Pure curiosity. Curiosity to study fringe areas of chemistry. And Bismuth is certainly one of these rather forgotten elements, located at the edge of the periodic table.

What are some of the important applications that you are working on that will benefit society?

Our overreaching goal is to provide practical and sustainable strategies for organic synthesis. To do so, our research program covers an ample spectra spanning from the discovery of fundamental aspects in catalysis to the design of simple reagents for synthesis. Whereas direct applications of fundamental research can be difficult to devise and predict, the other end of the spectrum allows our group to directly interact with pharma and agrochemical companies in order to provide more sustainable and practical processes for the synthesis of highly coveted organic molecules.

Tell us about your research philosophy.

In addition to providing sustainable alternatives to synthesis, I am interested in fundamental questions in unchartered territories. For example, can bismuth behave like palladium in a catalytic redox cycle? Or like iron? Can laughing gas (N2O) be used as O-atom source for synthesis generating solely N2? is it possible to make an air-stable Ni(0)-olefin complex? These were simple questions that we asked when we opened the doors of our laboratory. And indeed, they did not have a straightforward answer. To tackle such questions, I surround myself with great people with different backgrounds, to provide as many view points on the same problem. My coworkers are extremely talented and I learn every day from them. Going together after problems of this magnitude is really exciting and motivating.

What’s next in your research?

What comes next is always the most exciting. Because I do not know. And the unknown and unexpected is the most exciting thing of this job.

Is there anything else that you would like to share?

I would like to thank the nominators and the selection committee for bestowing this prize upon us. It is a great privilege to be part of such a long list of phenomenal and truly outstanding scientists.

Explore Dr. Josep Cornellá’s recently published articles in ACS Publications Journals.

The Organometallics Distinguished Authors Award 2022 recipient will present at the ACS Fall National Meeting in Chicago in August 2022 during a symposium in their honor.

Learn more about last year’s recipient.