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Surface Chemistry

Chemistry In Pictures

Chemistry in Pictures: This is what a cycloaddition looks like

by Manny I. Fox Morone
February 23, 2021

A scheme showing side-by-side views of molecules and atomic force micrographs showing two reactants and a reaction product a pentacene molecule, a indeno[1,2,3-cd]fluoranthene molecule, and an as-indaceno[2,3-b:6,7-b′]ditetracene.
Credit: Rafal Zuzak/C&EN

Anyone who has stayed up late collecting NMR data for a molecule of interest would agree: it’d be nice if you could just see the thing. That’s one advantage of the surface chemistry work being done in Antonio Echavarren’s and Szymon Godlewski’s labs at the Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia and Jagiellonian University, respectively. Another advantage to reactions on these metal surfaces—a 370 °C single-crystal gold surface in this case—is that they can produce molecules that can’t currently be made easily in solution in a flask. Here, atomic-force micrographs show the reactants and a large polycyclic product of a dehydrogenative Diels-Alder reaction; both the larger reactant and the product would be difficult to dissolve and incorporate into solution chemistry.

Credit: Rafal Zuzak. Follow @Echavarren_Lab and @SPMLabJUK on Twitter. Read the ACS Nano paper: 2021, DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.0c08995

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