Gram amounts of “nanohoops”

Preparation of carbon nanotubes as pure substances could benefit from a new way to make gram amounts of “nanohoops” (Chem. Sci., DOI:10.1039/c2sc20719b).

 

Nanohoops—or cycloparaphenylenes (CPPs)—are like bracelets made from para-linked benzene rings. Stacking of CPPs could be the basis for preparing useful quantities of pure carbon nanotubes.

BUILDING BLOCKS
Sizable quantities of [8]CPP and [10]CPP are now accessible, potentially easing the way to carbon nanotube synthesis. The armchair carbon nanotube image shows how two [8]CPPs (red and black bold) could be linked to begin forming the nanotube.
This figure shows structures of [8]CPP and [10]CPP. The [8]CPP rings can link to make an armchair carbon nanotube, also shown.

Synthetic organic chemist Ramesh Jasti—then in Carolyn R. Bertozzi’s group at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Molecular Foundry—and coworkers first synthesized CPPs catalytically in 2008

  J. Am. Chem. Soc., DOI: 10.1021/ja807126u).

 

But the catalysts they used weren’t ideal, and yields of CPPs were low. CPPs have remained so difficult to make that they are currently sold commercially for about $100 per milligram.

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