Synthesis of a carbon nanobelt

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The synthesis of a carbon nanobelt, comprising a closed loop of fully fused edge-sharing benzene rings, has been an elusive goal in organic chemistry for more than 60 years. Here we report the synthesis of one such compound through iterative Wittig reactions followed by a nickel-mediated aryl-aryl coupling reaction. The cylindrical shape of its belt structure was confirmed by x-ray crystallography, and its fundamental optoelectronic properties were elucidated by ultraviolet-visible absorption, fluorescence, and Raman spectroscopic studies, as well as theoretical calculations. This molecule could potentially serve as a seed for the preparation of structurally well-defined carbon nanotubes.

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