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Pure Appl. Chem., 2010, Vol. 82, No. 4, pp. 831-841

Published online 2010-03-13

Fully conjugated macrocycles composed of thiophenes, acetylenes, and ethylenes

Masahiko Iyoda

Department of Chemistry, Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Tokyo Metropolitan University, Hachioji, Tokyo 192-0397, Japan

Abstract: Fully conjugated π-expanded macrocyclic oligothiophenes with 24π to 180π electron systems have been synthesized using a modified McMurry coupling reaction as the key step. For the synthesis of cyclo[n](2,5-thienylene-ethynylene)s composed of thiophenes and acetylenes, bromination-dehydrobromination and double elimination procedure were employed. X-ray analyses of macrocyclic oligothiophenes with 24π, 60π, and 72π systems revealed unique molecular and packing structures, reflecting planar cyclic frameworks with medium to large inner cavities. All the giant macrocycles exhibit multistep reversible redox behavior with a fairly low first-oxidation potentials, reflecting their cyclic conjugation. The doping of macrocycles with iodine forms semiconductors owing to their π-donor properties and π–π stacking ability. Interestingly, 90π, 108π, and 120π systems self-aggregate in the solid state to form red nanofibers or petal structure, whereas 150π to 180π systems form red nanoparticles. The structures of fibrous aggregates and particles have been established by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) analyses. Furthermore, two-photon properties of 72π, 108π, 144π, and 180π systems show that the increasing π-conjugation leads to an increase in the two-photon absorption cross-section with magnitudes as high as 100 000 GM in the visible spectral region.