Angewandte Chemie - International Edition

Exploring a Route to Cyclic Acenes by On-Surface Synthesis

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A route to generate cyclacenes by on-surface synthesis is explored. We started by synthesizing two tetraepoxycyclacenes by sequences of Diels–Alder cycloadditions. Subsequently, these molecules were deposited onto Cu(111) and scanning-tunneling-microscopy(STM)-based atom manipulation was employed to dissociate the oxygen atoms. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) with CO-functionalized tips enabled the detailed characterization of the reaction products and revealed that, at most, two oxygens per molecule could be removed. Importantly, our experimental results suggest that the generation of cyclacenes by the described route might be possible for larger epoxycyclacenes.