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The synthesis of two-dimensionally extended polycyclic heteroatomic molecules keeps attracting considerable attention. In particular, frameworks bearing planar cyclooctatetraenes (COT) moieties can display intriguing properties, including antiaromaticity. Here, we present an on-surface chemistry route to square-type porphyrin tetramers with a central COT ring, coexisting with other oligomers. This approach employing temperature-induced dehydrogenative porphyrin homocoupling in an ultrahigh vacuum environment provides access to surface-supported, unsubstituted porphyrin tetramers that are not easily achievable by conventional synthesis means. Specifically, monomeric free-base (2H-P) and Zn-metalated (Zn-P) porphines (P) were employed to form square-type free-base and Zn-functionalized tetramers on Ag(100). An atomic-level characterization by bond-resolved atomic force microscopy and scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy is provided, identifying the molecular structures. Complemented by density functional theory modeling, the electronic structure is elucidated, indeed revealing antiaromaticity induced by the COT moiety. The present study thus gives access, and insights, to a porphyrin oligomer, representing both a model system for directly fused porphyrins and a potential building block for conjugated, extended two-dimensional porphyrin sheets.


Eduardo Corral Rascon, Alexander Riss, Adam Matěj, Alissa Wiengarten, Pingo Mutombo, Diego Soler, Pavel Jelinek, Willi Auwärter. On-Surface Synthesis of Square-Type Porphyrin Tetramers with Central Antiaromatic Cyclooctatetraene Moiety. Journal of the American Chemical Society. 2023 Jan 18;145(2):967-977

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PMID: 36580274

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