Manipulable Metal Catalyst for Nanographene Synthesis

Performing bottom-up synthesis by using molecules adsorbed on a surface is an effective method to yield functional polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and nanocarbon materials. The intramolecular cyclodehydrogenation of hydrocarbons is a critical process in this synthesis; however, thus far, its elementary steps have not been elucidated thoroughly.

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In this study, we utilize the metal tip of a low-temperature noncontact atomic force microscope as a manipulable metal surface to locally activate dehydrogenation for PAH-forming cyclodehydrogenation. This method leads to the dissociation of a H atom of an intermediate to yield the cyclodehydrogenated product in a target-selective and reproducible manner. We demonstrate the metal-tip-catalyzed dehydrogenation for both benzenoid and nonbenzonoid PAHs, suggesting its universal applicability as a catalyst for nanographene synthesis.




(Source: ACS Publications)

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