PerspectiveOrganic Chemistry

Allotropy by design—Carbon nanohoops

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Science  14 Apr 2017:
Vol. 356, Issue 6334, pp. 135-136
DOI: 10.1126/science.aan0441

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The allotropes formed by carbon reflect differences in its bonding: single bonds in diamond, double bonds in graphite and graphene, and triple bonds in polyynes. Fashioning graphene sheets into bowls, monkey saddles, balls, and tubes has led to a number of molecular allotropes of carbon or carbon-rich quasi-allotropes with novel topologies and shapes. A simple ring of carbon can be reduced to practice in various forms (1): a cyclic array of carbon atoms, a “pearl necklace” of benzene rings, or a cylindrical hoop of flank-fused benzenes, just to name a few. On page 172 of this issue, Povie et al. (2) report on the synthesis of an angular-fused hoop structure, which has been a long-standing target.

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