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Mini Virtual Issues from Macromolecules

Macromolecules has been creating a series of Mini Virtual Issues on Twitter which highlight articles with a similar theme. Here we have collected them all in one place so readers won’t miss out!

Semi-Conducting Polymers

Semi-conducting polymers are useful in many emerging applications, and the fundamentals of their synthesis, charge conduction, and organization are important to established for future applications in sensors, solar cells, and organic electronics as exemplified in these three recent Macromolecules papers.

Usefulness of Polar and Bulky Phosphonate Chain-End Solubilizing Groups in Polymeric Semiconductors
So-Huei Kang, Doyoung Lee, Wonbin Choi, Joon Hak Oh, and Changduk Yang
DOI: 10.1021/acs.macromol.1c02628

High-Performance Unipolar n-Type Conjugated Polymers Enabled by Highly Electron-Deficient Building Blocks Containing F and CN Groups
Chan Zhang, Wen Liang Tan, Zhongwei Liu, Qiao He, Yanru Li, Jianeng Ma, Anthony S. R. Chesman, Yang Han, Christopher R. McNeill, Martin Heeney, and Zhuping Fei
DOI: 10.1021/acs.macromol.2c00870

Effect of Isomerization of Linking Units on the Photovoltaic Performance of PSMA-Type Polymer Acceptors in All-Polymer Solar Cells
Liuyang Zhou, Lei Meng, Jinyuan Zhang, Shucheng Qin, Jing Guo, Xiaojun Li, Xinxin Xia, Xinhui Lu, and Yongfang Li
DOI: 10.1021/acs.macromol.2c00515


Polyelectrolytes are a class of polymers with charges along the backbone of the chain and are used in many applications that range from hydrogels to surface modifiers to drug delivery. Four recent papers in Macromolecules highlight new innovative experiment and theoretical work on polyelectrolytes.

Adsorption of Charge Sequence-Specific Polydisperse Polyelectrolytes
Vaidyanathan Sethuraman, David Zheng, David C. Morse, and Kevin D. Dorfman
DOI: 10.1021/acs.macromol.1c02623

Effect of Ethanol and Urea as Solvent Additives on PSS–PDADMA Polyelectrolyte Complexation
Mohammad Khavani, Piotr Batys, Suvesh M. Lalwani, Chikaodinaka I. Eneh, Anna Leino, Jodie L. Lutkenhaus, and Maria Sammalkorpi
DOI: 10.1021/acs.macromol.1c02533

Extraordinarily High Dielectric Breakdown Strength of Multilayer Polyelectrolyte Thin Films
Ethan T. Iverson, Hsu-Cheng Chiang, Thomas J. Kolibaba, Kendra Schmieg, and Jaime C. Grunlan
DOI: 10.1021/acs.macromol.2c00259

The pH-Dependent Swelling of Weak Polyelectrolyte Hydrogels Modeled at Different Levels of Resolution
Jonas Landsgesell, David Beyer, Pascal Hebbeker, Peter Košovan, and Christian Holm
DOI: 10.1021/acs.macromol.1c02489

Block Polymers

Block polymers are fascinating materials useful for numerous advanced technologies that include energy storage and nanotemplating. Three articles recently published in Macromolecules highlight the wonderful and interesting self-assembly behavior of these hybrid polymers.

Enhanced Electrochemical Properties of Block Copolymer Electrolytes with Blended End-Functionalized Homopolymers
Jihoon Kim, Kyeong-Jun Jeong, Kyoungwook Kim, Chang Yun Son, and Moon Jeong Park
DOI: 10.1021/acs.macromol.1c02461

Long-Range Ordered Lamellar Formation with Lower Molecular Weight PS-PMMA Block Copolymers: Significant Effects of Discrete Oligopeptides at the Junction
Tomoka Yoshimura, Tomofumi Morishita, Yoshihiro Agata, Kodai Nagashima, Kevin Wylie, Yuta Nabae, Teruaki Hayakawa, and Makoto Ouchi
DOI: 10.1021/acs.macromol.1c02569

Universality and Specificity in the Self-Assembly of Cylinder-Forming Block Copolymers under Cylindrical Confinement
Junying Yang, Qingshu Dong, Meijiao Liu, and Weihua Li
DOI: 10.1021/acs.macromol.1c02504

Rheological Analysis

The rheological behavior of polymers is critically important to understanding underlying phenomena associated with chain dynamics in a variety of macromolecular materials. In back-to-back Macromolecules Perspectives, the importance of rheological analysis, underlying theory, and associated simulations are highlighted in the realm of reversible networks and extensional flow.

Advances and New Opportunities in the Rheology of Physically and Chemically Reversible Polymers
Shilong Wu and Quan Chen
DOI: 10.1021/acs.macromol.1c01605

When Polymer Chains Are Highly Aligned: A Perspective on Extensional Rheology
Qian Huang
DOI: 10.1021/acs.macromol.1c02262

Special Issue: Transformative Inorganic Nanocrystals

Accounts of Chemical Research is a popular venue for concise reports on focused topics in which the authors are world experts. It is perfect for readers wanting to be broadly educated about current research frontiers in chemistry and related sciences. One of the journal’s most popular features is its Special Issues.

Recently, the journal published the “Transformative Inorganic Nanocrystals,” Special Issue which is, “meant to be just the beginning of a comprehensive understanding of these materials,” according to the guest editors. The issue covers aspects including anion and cation exchange reactions, and how they can be controlled to produce a wide variety of multicomponent nanocrystals. It also examines ultrasmall clusters and describes how transformations taking place in metal halide nanocrystals can be sometimes unified under a scheme of cation framework preservation, among other pertinent and related topics.

We met with Professor Liberato Manna, one of the guest editors, via Zoom to discuss nanocrystals, what makes them transformative, and why you should check out the issue. We also asked him about current projects in his lab. Watch the interview below:

Accounts of Chemical Research Journal Club

Join us on Tuesday, July 27 at 10:00 AM ET for the Accounts of Chemical Research Journal Club. This month we will be presenting and discussing the Transformative Inorganic Nanocrystals Special Issue. Speakers include Professor Manna as well as authors Raymond Schaak, Sara Bals, and Raffaella Buonsanti. The event is hosted by Associate Editor Jinwoo Cheon. Join us!

Open Science in Chemistry Twitter Chat with JACS Au

Join JACS Au Associate Editor Nuno Maulide for a Twitter Chat on Tuesday July 13, 2021at 11am ET/4pm BST/5pm CET on the theme of Open Science in Chemistry.

Nuno will be on hand to answer questions on the impact of open science in chemistry, grand challenges facing the industry, what it’s like being an Associate Editor of JACS Au, and more – including a musical surprise at the end!

You can submit your questions ahead of the hour-long event via Twitter, using the hashtag, #AskJACSAu.

Make sure you’re following JACS Au on Twitter to be a part of the conversation.

Special Issue Call for Papers: Advances in Genome Editing for Sustainable Agriculture

ACS Agricultural Science & Technology is preparing to publish a special issue highlighting advances in genome editing for sustainable agriculture. For readers, this special issue will be a source of high-quality papers in the field, and for authors, it will provide visibility for their excellent work in this area.

Significant advances in agricultural technologies will be needed to meet the future food demands of our planet. Growers are facing challenges from emerging plant diseases and pests along with herbicide and insecticide resistance. Crop yield increases will be needed despite the challenges of climate change and finite land and water resources. Meanwhile, consumers are demanding a greater variety and more nutritious foods with year-round availability.

Gene editing is a technology with the potential to bring about some of the rapid changes required to address these challenges. The great potential of CRISPR/Cas9-based precise gene-editing biotechnology is an emerging area of research being applied to plants and microorganisms. Many derivative technologies such as epigenome editing, transcriptional control, and genome-wide screening and editing are being developed. These innovative biotechnologies are powerful tools for dissecting functional genomics and show great potential in plant breeding and genetic improvements.

Along with the rapid advances in basic science and technological improvements, there are societal, economic, and regulatory hurdles to overcome before the value of this technology can be realized.

This special issue will broadly cover original research and review papers and opinion-style viewpoint articles in gene editing, including recent advances in gene editing and related technologies, application cases in agriculture, perspectives in agriculture application, and policies in different countries.

The editors are highly interested in the following topics, but not limited to:

  • Genome editing and its applications for sustainable agriculture and to address climate change.
  • Advances in genome editing tools: CRISPR/Cas9 and beyond, e.g., recently emerging protein editing tools
  • Plant transformation for efficient genome editing
  • Genome editing to address abiotic and biotic stresses and disease
  • Genome editing in increasing plant yield
  • Genome editing in improving food quality
  • Regulatory, Economic, Societal, and Policy considerations around genome editing applications in agriculture

Submission Instructions

Manuscripts must adhere to the guidelines available on the ACS Agricultural Science & Technology Information for Authors page and must be submitted electronically through the ACS Paragon Plus portal.

In Paragon Plus, specify a manuscript type, and activate the special issue feature to designate the paper for Advances in Genome Editing for Sustainable Agriculture. In addition, state in your cover letter that the paper is being submitted for the special issue.

All invited and contributed manuscripts will be screened for suitability upon submission and undergo the standard peer-review procedure of the journal. The final submission deadline for inclusion in the special issue is October 31, 2021.

Open Access

ACS journals offer diverse open-access publishing options. Please see for more information.


Xiangyuan Wan, University of Science and Technology Beijing, and Associate Editor, ACS Agricultural Science & Technology


Laura McConnell, Bayer Crop Science, and Deputy Editor, ACS Agricultural Science & Technology


Get Ready for 2021 With These Free Chemistry Zoom Backgrounds

Video calls will continue to be an essential part of our working lives in 2021. Why not give your Zoom calls a little extra flair with these beautiful, free, chemistry-themed backgrounds, courtesy of ACS Publications? Each colorful background features a distinctive look, representing one of the nine new ACS Au journals launching in 2021. Fill out this form and download your favorites today.

Get Your Free Zoom Backgrounds

Elevate Black Voices in Chemistry During #BlackinChem Week

A group of black scientists is coming together to create conversation and elevate the work of other black researchers on Twitter during #BlackinChem week. ACS Publications encourages everyone to engage, amplify, and support black researchers during this week-long celebration.

Each day of the event has a particular focus. Join in the #BlackinChem conversation by logging onto Twitter between August 10 and 16, and participating in any of the following themed discussions.

Monday, August 10: Analytical Chemistry

Discuss your favorite analytical technique and share your research using the hashtags #BlackinChem and #BlackinAnalytical.

Tuesday, August 11: Biological Chemistry

Talk about your favorite protein and share your research using the hashtags #BlackinChem and #BlackinBiological. Then students can join the #Undergrad101 discussion at 5 P.M. ET. RSVP at

Wednesday, August 12: Inorganic Chemistry

Have a conversation about your favorite transition metal and share your research using the hashtags #BlackinChem and #BlackinInorganic. Relax in the evening with a favorite beverage and join the hashtag #BlackChemWineDown at 6 P.M. ET. RSVP at:

Thursday, August 13: Organic Chemistry

Tell the world about your favorite purification technique and share your research using the hashtags #BlackinChem and #BlackinOrganic. Then at 5 P.M. ET, join in an elevator speech contest. A winner will receive a complimentary registration to the ACS Fall 2020 National Meeting. RSVP here:

Friday, August 14: Physical Chemistry

Trade your favorite equations and constants and share your research using the hashtags #BlackinChem and #BlackinPhysical.

Saturday, August 15: Finale

Finish the week with a Zoom call discussion, which you can live tweet with the hashtags #BlackinChem and #BlackChemJourney. RSVP here:

The event is being co-organized/co-founded by Emory University Ph.D. Student Ayanna Jones, Marie Curie Research Fellow Dr. Natércia Rodrigues Lopes, UCLA Ph.D. Candidate Samantha T. Mensah. NSBP Associate Kathleen Muloma, Ohio State University Ph.D. Candidate Devin Swiner, and NASA-GSFC Intern Ashley Walker.


Share Your Story: A Day in the Life of a Locked-Down Crystal Engineer

Today, Crystal Growth & Design launched a “Day in the Life of a Locked-Down Crystal Engineer,” campaign to provide a little hope and inspiration during this uncertain time. The goal of the campaign is to highlight how crystal engineers are continuing to work while social distancing.

To participate, share your story on Twitter using the #StayHomeDesignCrystals and mentioning @CGD_ACS. 

View the feed now for some inspiration

Don’t forget to like and share your tweet with colleagues and upgrade your posts with some visuals (either video or images!).

When the campaign concludes on May 31st, the five participants with the most likes will receive a surprise prize!

Please note: To be considered, you must also follow @CGD_ACS

Share Your Story

How to Succeed at Scientific Collaboration | Part 1: A Cross-Disciplinary Collaboration

Late last year @ACS4Authors surveyed over 1,500 researchers on Twitter and found that 30% of researchers surveyed report participating in a research collaboration in 2017.

Researchers worldwide are expanding their networks and frequently collaborating with other scientists from other countries as communication technology continues to improve. These collaborations grant them access to new perspectives and often times better lab equipment. We tapped into the Twitter community to bring you a few stories and tips for successful collaboration in 2018. We’ll be sharing one a week for the first few weeks of the year.

A Cross-Disciplinary Collaboration: Zenkina Lab, Easton Lab, and Gaspari Lab

Terpyridine-Based Monolayer Electrochromic Materials

ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 2017, 9 (46), pp 40438–40445
DOI: 10.1021/acsami.7b11848

This work reports on new electrochromic materials (ECMs) that are able to reversibly change their color under applied voltages. Recent technologies of “smart” devices, including smart windows for the Boeings Dreamliner aircrafts, battery charge sensors, and especially modern monitors utilize different ECMs. Close collaboration between inorganic/materials chemists (Zenkina lab), electrochemists (Easton lab), and physicists (Gaspari lab), led to the invention of a new material architecture that is highly promising and could potentially satisfy the demands of rapidly developing industrial applications.

Professor Zenkina conceived the concept and led the project. Synthetic studies were carried out in Zenkina’s lab. Professor Gaspari’s lab developed the screen printing methodology resulting in solid supports with an improved surface area. Further functionalization of the supports with as low as a monolayer of the EC molecule performed in Zenkina’s lab resulted in novel ECMs. The assembly of the novel materials into EC devices and their stability studies was performed in Zenkina’s and Professor Easton’s labs. All electrochemical experiments were designed and carried out in Easton lab. The spectro-electrochemical experiments were performed in Easton and Gaspari labs. Each group contributed to the physical characterization of the materials. This work was a result of close collaboration between three research groups at UOIT, and included several co-supervised postdocs and students.

Stay tuned for another collaboration story next week and for further reading, check out Why the Future of Research is Collaborative.

Exploring ChemRxiv and the Value of Preprint Servers with Reddit

On October 17, ACS Publication hosted a Reddit AMA with Darla Henderson and Marshall Brennan. The pair manage ChemRxiv, the first preprint server designed for all chemical disciplines. You may remember Henderson’s AMA from January 2016, where she highlighted the ACS open access program to the r/Science community. Brennan is a new addition to the ACS team, and serves as the Publishing Manager for ChemRxiv. Preprint servers such as ChemRxiv are an important part of the publication process, facilitating discussion and feedback within the greater scientific community. As always, Reddit users had a lot of great questions for our hosts.

Check out some highlights from their conversation ChemRxiv and preprint servers:

/u/nate: The physics ArXiv is quite popular for communicating physics work well before it’s published, do you think this chemistry version will take hold as well? What will that mean for traditional chemistry journals?

Marshall Brennan: Quite right, and we do really think that ChemRxiv will take hold! Not only are we seeing submissions across a diverse set of subject areas (we have 16 categories for folks to choose from when submitting, and we’ve had contributions in 14 of them in the ~7 weeks that submissions have been open), but the groups that we would expect to have more of a loyalty to arXiv (computational, physical) are beginning to gravitate to ChemRxiv because we handle raw data and SI much better — one can upload an .xyz file and have a reader download it (and even view its 3D structure right in the browser) rather than having to reconstruct the coordinates from a PDF, which is an error-prone process which, of course, is currently not a possibility. So yes, I think there’s a lot here for chemists specifically, and we’ve seen a strong enough response that I’m quite confident that it will stick around.

Regarding traditional journals, the peer review process remains as important as ever, so they’re not going away. What ChemRxiv does is let authors discuss and hopefully improve on their papers before peer review. With (ideally) higher quality papers making it to editors, we can expect higher quality publications after peer review, and so it really is a symbiotic relationship!

/u/adenovato: Could you talk a bit about why preprint papers are of value to researchers? What’s driving growth in the preprint industry?

Marshall Brennan: Certainly — the short answer is that rapid dissemination leads to rapid evaluation, and that generally improves the pace and quality of research. Too often the peer review process can prevent ideas from permeating the community for up to a year in some cases (remember that, even at a quick-to-publish journal, many papers are rejected and resubmitted, which adds to total review time). In the current system, grant submissions can be impacted, job prospects for students and postdocs can be complicated, and research efforts can be duplicated (imagine if you had recently embarked on a project, and saw a paper that “scoops” it — it had likely been done for a while by the time it was published in a journal, and so if it had been preprinted you could have seen the nascent project and adjusted your focus, or, even better, reached out to collaborate and perhaps have better outcomes than one would have had on their own. We’ve seen countless examples of this by chemists using arXiv and bioRxiv (off the top of my head, I know Jan Jensen has written about this on his blog at Molecular Modeling Basics), so it isn’t a pipe dream: it actually happens!

/u/dschne: Chad Mirkin stated at a recent ACS conference during a ACS Pubs Q&A session that JACS will not accept papers that have been uploaded to ChemRxiv (or any other preprint service) because this counts as a prior publication. 1) Are you aware of any other ACS Publications that will reject papers that uploaded to ChemRxiv? 2) In your opinion will ACS Pubs change this policy in the future, or is it determined by the head editors of the respective journals?

Darla Henderson: When we started this journey and discussion with the community about a year and a half ago, very few ACS journals allowed preprints to be submitted to the journal. At this time, ca. 80% of ACS journals say yes to preprints – noting that not all policy documents are updated, those are in progress as we speak. JACS, Organic Letters, and Journal of Natural Products currently disallow preprints, and Journal of Chemical Education, Chemical Research in Toxicology are on a case by case type of basis (sometimes yes, other times no). Similarly, Chemical Reviews and Accounts of Chemical Research, currently both review-type journals, do not address preprints in their policies – in practice, there’s been no demand from their market to allow preprints.

The beauty of ACS is that when we say “community driven” we mean “community driven”. New journals are brought on by community demand, the Editor in Chief of each journal is a practicing researcher, a leader in the field who is identified, recruited, and recommended by a community “search” committee to the board of directors, the health of the journal editorially and how it is serving the community is evaluated at least every 5 years by a committee of community members. Editors of ACS journals as the representatives of the communities the journals serve, determine the content that is published in their journals. We respect that practice. We are working alongside all the Editors, teams, and journals to provide information and data about preprints, help identify questions outstanding, and advance those for discussion, and dig in to develop best practices around preprints that allow ChemRxiv to meet every chemistry community’s needs.

Learn more about ACS Science Tuesdays on Reddit and view upcoming AMAs.

#ThankAScientist – William L. Jorgensen

ACS is participating in Thank A Scientist Week by encouraging the ACS community to get to know some of the ACS Editors who are active on Twitter. Tweet your appreciation and get to know more ACS Editors.

William L. Jorgensen is the Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation. You can follow him on Twitter at @jorgensenwl.

His current research includes such areas as the use of modern theoretical methods and computers to solve problems concerning structure and reactivity for organic and biomolecular systems, computer-aided drug design, and the synthesis and testing of anti-infective and anti-proliferative agents.

He is considered a pioneer in the field of computational chemistry. Some of his contributions include the TIP3P and TIP4P water models, the OPLS force field, and his work on free-energy perturbation theory for modeling reactions and molecular recognition in solution. He developed the Optimized Potentials for Liquid State (OPLS) potential functions for organic molecules (including proteins). He pioneered the methodology of developing potential functions by fitting parameters to reproduce the thermodynamic properties of pure liquids, which is now widely used by other researchers.

His honors include the ACS Award for Computers in Chemical & Pharmaceutical Research, Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award, and the Award in Computational Biology from the Intl. Society for Quantum Biology & Pharmacology. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Are you on Twitter? If so, tweet a ‘thank you’ to @jorgensenwl for his work, as part of our Thank a Scientist campaign. Be sure to include the hashtag. #ThankAScientist.