Contorted aromatics via a palladium-catalyzed cyclopentannulation strategy†
We show that a new class of contorted polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) containing five-membered rings can be prepared via a palladium-catalyzed cyclopentannulation followed by Scholl cyclodehydrogenation. The annulation chemistry can be accomplished between a di-arylethynylene and an appropriate aryl-dibromide to form 1,2,6,7-tetraarylcyclopenta[hi]aceanthrylenes and 1,2,6,7-tetraaryldicyclopenta[cd,jk]pyrenes. Scholl cyclodehydrogenation to close the externally fused aryl groups was accomplished only with properly arranged alkoxy substitutions and provides access to the pi-extended 2,7,13,18-tetraalkoxytetrabenzo[f,h,r,t]rubicenes and 2,7,13,18-tetraalkoxydibenzo[4,5:6,7]indeno[1,2,3-cd]dibenzo[4,5:6,7]indeno[1,2,3-jk]pyrenes. The final compounds each possess apparent helicene-like arrangements with fused five-membered rings; however, only the 2,7,13,18-tetraalkoxytetrabenzo[f,h,r,t]rubicenes contort out of planarity owing to an additional helicene like arrangement. Single crystal analysis of the contorted aromatic shows the PAHs stack in a lock-and-key like arrangement and pi-stack in a columnar arrangement. Solution-phase aggregation, as well as liquid crystalline mesophases, were found for derivatives with suitably attached solubilizing chains.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Emerging Investigators 2016: Novel design strategies for new functional materials