The quest to unlock allotropes of carbon and create new carbon forms in a precise manner has become stronger with the passage of time. Aromatic hydrocarbon belts (AHCBs)—which are defined as double-stranded and belt-shaped molecules consisting of fully unsaturated and fused benzenoid rings—have fascinated scientists for over half a century because of their aesthetically appealing structures and potential applications in the field of carbon nanotechnology. Successful preparations of AHCBs offer the prospect of providing well-defined templates for the growth of uniform single-walled carbon nanotubes—a long-standing dream in nanocarbon science.
The review begins by reflecting on the historical background and identifying some of the obstacles preventing the successful syntheses of AHCBs. In the discussion that follows, Qinghui and co-authors examine critically some representative attempts to make Vögtle [n]belts, [n]cyclophenacnenes, [n]cyclacenes and highlight significant advances reflecting the resurgence during the past few years in the synthesis of armchair and chiral carbon nanobelts (CNBs) as well as zigzag belt[n]arenes. In winding up the discussion, they proffer suggestions in the wake of current achievements and provide pointers to what lies ahead of this field.
The review was written by an international team led by Qinghui and Fraser. Qinghui worked on the review with his colleague Yunyan Qiu at Northwestern University and his PhD mentor Professor Mei-Xiang Wang at Tsinghua University, featuring the amazing achievements by chemists in synthesizing highly strained AHCBs.
Congratulations to Qinghui and the Team. Nice review!
Pictured below – Qinghui Guo alongside the Graphical Abstract of the review in Nature Chemistry: