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Setting the Record Straight: Bottom-Up Carbon Nanostructures via Solid-State Reactions


Chapter 1 describes the development and spectroscopic investigation of a novel synthetic route to N=8 armchair graphene nanoribbons from polydiacetylene polymers. Four distinct diphenyl polydiacetylene polymers are produced from the crystal-phase topochemical polymerization of their corresponding diphenyl-1,4-butadiynes. These polydiacetylene polymers are transformed into spectroscopically indistinguishable N=8 armchair graphene nanoribbons via simple heating in the bulk, solid-state. The stepwise transformation of polydiacetylenes to graphene nanoribbons is examined in detail by the use of complementary spectroscopic methods, namely solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance, infrared, Raman and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. The final morphology and width of the nanoribbons is established through the use of high-resolution transmission electron microscopy. Chapter 2 chronicles the implementation of a similar approach to N=12 armchair graphene nanoribbons from a dinaphthyl substituted polydiacetylene polymer. The mild nature of the process and pristine structure of the nanoribbons is again confirmed with the use of spectroscopic and microscopic methods. The chapter concludes with preliminary electrical measurements of the nanoribbons confirming that they are indeed conductive. Chapter 3 details the development of a synthetic route to diaryl trans-enediynes as structural models of individual reactive units within a polydiacetylene polymer. The trans-enediynes described are found to undergo three distinct annulation reactions depending on reaction conditions. Finally, the synthetic routes developed are utilized to access diethynyl [5]helicenes and phenanthrenes which fueled studies on the mechanism of the Bergman polymerization reaction.

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