Topological molecular nanocarbons: All-benzene catenane and trefoil knot

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Science  19 Jul 2019:
Vol. 365, Issue 6450, pp. 272-276
DOI: 10.1126/science.aav5021

Carbon catenation

Preparing interlocked rings and knots at the molecular scale traditionally relies on preorientation of the building blocks by nitrogen or oxygen substituents. Segawa et al. devised a distinct strategy to synthesize catenane and trefoil structures composed exclusively of carbon and hydrogen (see the Perspective by Van Raden and Jasti). They linked phenyl rings end to end into macrocycles that met in the middle at a silicon center. Excision of the silicon with fluoride then yielded the interlocked products.

Science, this issue p. 272; see also p. 216

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