On-surface synthesis of doubly-linked one-dimensional pentacene ladder polymers†
On-surface synthesis has recently become an essential approach toward the formation of carbon-based nanostructures. Special emphasis is set on the synthesis of π-conjugated polymers taking into consideration their relevance and potential in organic electronics, optoelectronics and spintronics. Here, we report the on-surface synthesis of conjugated ladder polymers consisting of pentacene units doubly-linked via ethynylene-like bonds on the Au(111) surface under ultra-high vacuum conditions. To this aim, we have sublimed pentacene-like precursors equipped with four :CBr2 functional groups to steer the desired reaction upon annealing on the surface. The atomically precise structure of the obtained polymers has been unambiguously characterized via low-temperature scanning tunneling microscopy and non-contact atomic force microscopy. In addition, scanning tunneling spectroscopy complemented with density-functional theory calculations reveal the narrow bandgap of the polymer. Our results provide potential for the synthesis of π-conjugated polymers with prospects in functional carbon-based nanomaterials that exploit multiple connections between molecular backbones.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Chemical Communications HOT Articles