Cycloparaphenylene as a molecular porous carbon solid with uniform pores exhibiting adsorption-induced softness†
The molecular carbon nanoring, cycloparaphenylene (CPP), is fascinating as a new class of carbonaceous porous solids with the uniform structure of an all-benzene surface. We explored the feasibility of CPP as a carbon-based porous material and uncovered its unique adsorption properties due to its shape and highly nonpolar surface. Unlike other porous carbon solids, CPP shows stepwise adsorption behaviors sensitive to the functionalities of the guest molecules. In situ powder X-ray diffraction and infrared spectra provided insights into how CPP accommodates the guest molecules with structural deformation retaining its structural periodicity during the whole adsorption process, which exemplifies that this molecular nanoring represents an unprecedented carbon-based soft porous solid.