Nanocarbons, defined as nanometer-sized graphene allotropes, have dramatically changed the landscape of carbon-based materials in the past decades. They have "opened doors" to new technologies, with potential applications in many areas of materials science, including energy storage, catalysis, organic electronics, and spintronics.
However, although many of the nanocarbon structures have been theoretically predicted, they remain yet to be synthesized.
Graphene nanoribbons (GNRs), which are segments of graphene with well-defined nanometric dimensions, display a controllable band gap, which makes them attractive as organic electronic components. Currently graphene-based materials are predominantly obtained using top-down methods (i.e., exfoliation from graphite), but these methods yield products lacking structural perfection.
Bottom up synthesis of nanocarbons remains a substantial challenge.
A novel bottom-up synthesis approach for nanocarbons production based on linear and cyclic oligofurans (a new type of organic electronic material).
Linear oligofurans have greater solubility, rigidity/planarity, and stronger fluorescence than the commonly explored oligothiophenes.
A great potential to be used as reagents for other organic electronic materials.
The use of single cyclic furan can serve as a starting point for various cycloarenes in a single step (cycloaddition and deoxygenation), thus enabling the rapid development of different cycloarenes that can be converted to a variety of carbon nanobelts.
Linear oligofurans can easily be converted to oligonaphthalenes and triphenylenes thereby demonstrating the conversion of one long conjugated backbone system to another, while maintaining conjugation. As oligoarenes can further be converted to graphene nanoribbons, these results highlight the use of oligofurans as ‘synthons’ for various nanocarbons.
Oligofurans - a linear chain of covalently associated furan rings or a cyclic macrocycle comprising covalently associated furan rings, can be used as building blocks of a variety of novel and scientifically important materials. The oligofuran, whether linear or cyclic substantially consists two or more furan ring moieties.
Furthermore, the oligofuran may comprise additional mid-chain or mid-cycle groups of ring systems that are not furan rings.
Fig. 1: Left - Linear oligofurans (nF) ; Right - cyclic oligothiophenes (nCT)
Fig. 2: Oligofurans conversion to oligonaphthalenes
Production of new graphene – based materials.
Tailoring nanocarbons’ electronic, magnetic and optical properties