Efficient synthesis of oligofluoranthene nanorods with tunable functionalities†
Strongly fluorescence-emitting oligofluoranthene (OFA) nanorods are readily synthesized by a direct template-free chemical oxidative oligomerization of fluoranthene in nitromethane containing ferric chloride as an oxidant. The OFAs likely consist of five fluoranthene units containing cyclic pentamers with crystalline order and tunable electrical conductivity across 12 orders of magnitude. The OFA nanorods are heat-resistant materials and efficient precursors for macroporous carbon materials with high carbon yield in argon at 1100 °C. In particular, the optimal ring-like pentamer shows 12.2 times stronger cyan fluorescence-emission than recognized highly fluorescent fluoranthene under the same conditions, which makes the OFAs into ideal strong fluorescent emitters, tunable conductors, and high carbon-yield precursors for the preparation of sensors and carbon materials. These findings demonstrate an advance in the direct synthesis of oligomers from fused-ring aromatic hydrocarbons and provide a potential direction to optimize the synthesis and functionalities of wholly aromatic nanomaterials.