Search Results for "paraphenylene"

Covalently linked cycloparaphenylenes – onwards to nanotubes

Nanotubes are currently constructed in ways that offer little control of their size and chirality. The recent synthesis of cycloparaphenylenes (CPP) provides some hope that fully controlled synthesis of nanotubes might be possible in the near future. Jasti has now made an important step forward in preparing dimers of CPP such as 1.1



They also performed B3LYP-D/6-31G(d,p) computations on 1 and the directly linked dimer 2. The optimized geometries of these two compounds in their cis and trans conformations are shown in Figure 1. Interestingly, both compounds prefer to be in the cis conformation; cis1 is 10 kcal mol-1 more stable than trans1 and cis2 is 30 kcal mol-1 more stable than the trans isomer. While a true transition state interconnecting the two isomers was not located, a series of constrained optimizations to map out a reaction surface suggests that the
barrier for 1 is about 13 kcal mol-1. The authors supply an interesting movie of this pseudo-reaction path (download the movie).





Figure 1. B3LYP-D/6-31G(d,p) optimized geometries of the cis and trans conformers of 1 and 2. (Be sure to click on these images to launch a 3-D viewer; these structures come to life in 3-D!)


(1) Xia, J.; Golder, M. R.; Foster, M. E.; Wong, B. M.; Jasti, R. "Synthesis, Characterization, and Computational Studies of Cycloparaphenylene Dimers," J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2012, 134, 19709-19715, DOI: 10.1021/ja307373r.


1: InChI=1S/C106H82/c1-5-13-79-21-9-17-76-29-37-85(38-30-76)95-59-63-98(64-60-95)103-71-69-101(82(16-8-4)24-12-20-77-27-35-84(36-28-77)90-51-55-94(56-52-90)91-45-41-86(79)42-46-91)73-105(103)99-65-67-100(68-66-99)106-74-102-70-72-104(106)97-61-57-88(58-62-97)81(15-7-3)23-10-18-75-25-33-83(34-26-75)89-49-53-93(54-50-89)92-47-43-87(44-48-92)80(14-6-2)22-11-19-78-31-39-96(102)40-32-78/h5-16,21-74H,1-4,17-20H2/b21-9-,22-11-,23-10-,24-12-,79-13+,80-14+,81-15+,82-16+

2: InChI=1S/C100H78/c1-5-13-75-21-9-17-72-29-37-81(38-30-72)91-59-63-94(64-60-91)97-67-65-95(78(16-8-4)24-12-20-73-27-35-80(36-28-73)86-51-55-90(56-52-86)87-45-41-82(75)42-46-87)69-99(97)100-70-96-66-68-98(100)93-61-57-84(58-62-93)77(15-7-3)23-10-18-71-25-33-79(34-26-71)85-49-53-89(54-50-85)88-47-43-83(44-48-88)76(14-6-2)22-11-19-74-31-39-92(96)40-32-74/h5-16,21-70H,1-4,17-20H2/b21-9-,22-11-,23-10-,24-12-,75-13+,76-14+,77-15+,78-16+

Uncategorized Steven Bachrach 22 Jan 2013 No Comments

Planar ring in a nano-Saturn

For the past twelve years, I have avoided posting on any of my own papers, but I will stoop to some shameless promotion to mention my latest paper,1 since it touches on some themes I have discussed in the past.

Back in 2011, Iwamoto, et al. prepared the complex of C60 1 surrounded by [10]cycloparaphenylene 2 to make the Saturn-like system 3.2 Just last year, Yamamoto, et al prepared the Nano-Saturn 5a as the complex of 1 with the macrocycle 4a.3 The principle idea driving their synthesis was to utilize a ring that is flatter than 2. The structures of 3 and 5b (made with the parent macrocycle 4b) are shown in side view in Figure 1, and clearly seen is the achievement of the flatter ring.




Figure 1. Computed structures of 3, 5, and 7.

However, the encompassing ring is not flat, with dihedral angles between the anthrenyl groups of 35°. This twisting is due to the steric interactions of the ortho-ortho’ hydrogens. A few years ago, my undergraduate student David Stück and I suggested that selective substitution of a nitrogen for one of the C-H groups would remove the steric interaction,4 leading to a planar poly-aryl system, such as making twisted biphenyl into the planar 2-(2-pyridyl)-pyridine (Scheme 1)

Scheme 1.

Following this idea leads to four symmetrical nitrogen-substituted analogues of 4b; and I’ll mention just one of them here, 6.

As expected, 6 is perfectly flat. The ring remains flat even when complexed with 1 (as per B3LYP-D3(BJ)/6-31G(d) computations), see the structure of 7 in Figure 1.

I also examined the complex of the flat macrocycle 6 (and its isomers) with a [5,5]-nanotube, 7. The tube bends over to create better dispersion interaction with the ring, which also become somewhat non-planar to accommodate the tube. Though not mentioned in the paper, I like to refer to 7 as Beyoncene, in tribute to All the Single Ladies.

Figure 2. Computed structure of 7.

My sister is a graphic designer and she made this terrific image for this work:


1. Bachrach, S. M., “Planar rings in nano-Saturns and related complexes.” Chem. Commun. 2019, 55, 3650-3653, DOI: 10.1039/C9CC01234F.

2. Iwamoto, T.; Watanabe, Y.; Sadahiro, T.; Haino, T.; Yamago, S., “Size-Selective Encapsulation of C60 by [10]Cycloparaphenylene: Formation of the Shortest Fullerene-Peapod.” Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2011, 50, 8342-8344, DOI: 10.1002/anie.201102302

3. Yamamoto, Y.; Tsurumaki, E.; Wakamatsu, K.; Toyota, S., “Nano-Saturn: Experimental Evidence of Complex Formation of an Anthracene Cyclic Ring with C60.” Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2018 , 57, 8199-8202, DOI: 10.1002/anie.201804430.

4. Bachrach, S. M.; Stück, D., “DFT Study of Cycloparaphenylenes and Heteroatom-Substituted Nanohoops.” J. Org. Chem. 2010, 75, 6595-6604, DOI: 10.1021/jo101371m


4b: InChI=1S/C84H48/c1-13-61-25-62-15-3-51-33-75(62)43-73(61)31-49(1)50-2-14-63-26-64-16-4-52(34-76(64)44-74(63)32-50)54-6-18-66-28-68-20-8-56(38-80(68)46-78(66)36-54)58-10-22-70-30-72-24-12-60(42-84(72)48-82(70)40-58)59-11-23-71-29-69-21-9-57(39-81(69)47-83(71)41-59)55-7-19-67-27-65-17-5-53(51)35-77(65)45-79(67)37-55/h1-48H

6: InChI=1S/C72H36N12/c1-2-38-14-44-20-45-25-67(73-31-50(45)13-37(1)44)57-9-4-39-15-51-32-74-68(26-46(51)21-61(39)80-57)58-10-5-40-16-52-33-75-69(27-47(52)22-62(40)81-58)59-11-6-41-17-53-34-76-70(28-48(53)23-63(41)82-59)60-12-7-42-18-54-35-77-71(29-49(54)24-64(42)83-60)72-78-36-55-19-43-3-8-56(38)79-65(43)30-66(55)84-72/h1-36H

Aromaticity &host-guest Steven Bachrach 26 Mar 2019 1 Comment


It never hurts to promote one’s science through clever names – think cubane, buckminsterfullerene, bullvalene, etc. Host-guest chemistry is not immune to this cliché too, and this post discusses the latest synthesis and computations of a nano-Saturn; nano-Saturns are a spherical guest molecule captured inside a ring host molecule. I discussed an example of this a number of years ago – the nano-Saturn comprised of C60 fullerene surrounded by [10]cycloparaphenylene.

Yamamoto, Tsurumaki, Wakamatsu, and Toyota have prepared a nano-Saturn complex with the goal of making a flatter ring component.1 The inner planet is modeled again by C60 and the ring is the [24]circulene analogue 1. The x-ray crystal structure of this nano-Saturn complex is shown in Figure 1.

1: R = 2,4,6-tri-iso-propylphenyl
2: R = H

Figure 1. X-ray crystal structure of the nano-Saturn complex of 1 with C60.

Variable temperature NMR experiments gave the binding values of ΔH = -18.1 ± 2.3 kJ mol-1 and TΔS = 0.8 ± 2.2 kJ mol-1 at 298 K. To gauge this binding energy, they computed the complex of C60 with the parent compound 2 at B3LYP/6-1G(d)//M05-2X/6-31G(d), unfortunately without publishing the coordinates in the supporting materials. The computed binding enthalpy is ΔH = -50.6 kJ mol-1, but this computation is for the gas phase. The computed structure shows close contacts of 0.29 nm between the fullerene and the C9-proton of the anthracenyl groups, in excellent agreement with the x-ray structure. These weak C-Hπ interactions undoubtedly help stabilize the complex, especially given that the fullerene carries a very tiny Mulliken charge of +0.08 e.


1) Yuta, Y.; Eiji, T.; Kan, W.; Shinji, T., "Nano-Saturn: Experimental Evidence of Complex Formation of an Anthracene Cyclic Ring with C60." Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2018, 57, 8199-8202, DOI: 10.1002/anie.201804430.


1: InChI=1S/C174H180/c1-91(2)121-78-150(97(13)14)164(151(79-121)98(15)16)163-90-128-71-139-70-127-59-109(37-38-120(127)77-162(139)163)110-39-49-140-129(60-110)72-130-61-111(40-50-141(130)165(140)170-152(99(17)18)80-122(92(3)4)81-153(170)100(19)20)112-41-51-142-131(62-112)73-132-63-113(42-52-143(132)166(142)171-154(101(21)22)82-123(93(5)6)83-155(171)102(23)24)114-43-53-144-133(64-114)74-134-65-115(44-54-145(134)167(144)172-156(103(25)26)84-124(94(7)8)85-157(172)104(27)28)116-45-55-146-135(66-116)75-136-67-117(46-56-147(136)168(146)173-158(105(29)30)86-125(95(9)10)87-159(173)106(31)32)118-47-57-148-137(68-118)76-138-69-119(128)48-58-149(138)169(148)174-160(107(33)34)88-126(96(11)12)89-161(174)108(35)36/h37-108H,1-36H3

2: InChI=1S/C84H48/c1-13-61-25-62-15-3-51-33-75(62)43-73(61)31-49(1)50-2-14-63-26-64-16-4-52(34-76(64)44-74(63)32-50)54-6-18-66-28-68-20-8-56(38-80(68)46-78(66)36-54)58-10-22-70-30-72-24-12-60(42-84(72)48-82(70)40-58)59-11-23-71-29-69-21-9-57(39-81(69)47-83(71)41-59)55-7-19-67-27-65-17-5-53(51)35-77(65)45-79(67)37-55/h1-48H

Aromaticity &host-guest Steven Bachrach 28 Aug 2018 No Comments

Twisting a benzene ring

Here’s another cruel and unusual punishment applied to the poor benzene ring. Hashimoto,et al. have created a molecule that is a fused double helicene, where the fusion is about a single phenyl ring.1 Compound 1 has two [5]helicenes oriented in opposite directions. This should provide a twist to the central phenyl ring, and the added methyl groups help to expand that twist.

They prepared 1 and its x-ray crystal structure is reported. The compound exhibits C2 symmetry. The twist (defined as the dihedral of four consecutive carbon atoms of the central ring) is 28.17°, nearly the same twist as in [2]paraphenylene.

The B3LYP/6-31G(d) structure of 1 is shown in Figure 1. This geometry is very similar to the x-ray structure. The calculated NICS value for the central ring is -4.9 (B3LYP/6-311+G(d,p)/B3LYP/6-31G(d)) and -4.3 (B3LYP/6-311+G(d,p)/x-ray structure). This diminished value from either benzene or C6(PSH2)2(CH3)4 indicates reduced aromaticity of this central ring, presumably due to the distortion away from planarity. Nonetheless, the central ring of 1 is not oxidized when subjected to MCPBA to oxidize to the bis phosphine oxides.


Figure 1. B3LYP/6-31G(d) optimized structure of 1.


(1) Hashimoto, S.; Nakatsuka, S.; Nakamura, M.; Hatakeyama, T. "Construction of a Highly Distorted Benzene Ring in a Double Helicene," Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2014, 53, 14074-14076, DOI: 10.1002/anie.201408390.


1: InChI=1S/C50H32P2S2/c1-25-17-21-29-9-5-13-33-41(29)37(25)45-46-38-26(2)18-22-30-10-7-15-35(42(30)38)52(54)36-16-8-12-32-24-20-28(4)40(44(32)36)48(50(46)52)47-39-27(3)19-23-31-11-6-14-34(43(31)39)51(33,53)49(45)47/h5-24H,1-4H3

Aromaticity Steven Bachrach 26 Jan 2015 No Comments


Macrocycles composed of aromatic subunits, like polycycloparaphenylenes, are of interest as components of nanotubes and for possible interesting optical properties. Tremendous advances have occurred over the past decade in preparing these rings ; see for examples these posts. Yamago now reports on the synthesis, optical properties and structure of [4]cyclo-2,7-pyrenylene 1, made by joining four pyrene units together.1

B3LYP/6-31G(d) optimization of the structure of 1 reveals a D2 geometry (Figure 1). This structure shows a very distorted pyrene unit. The strain energy of 1 is estimated as 392 kJ mol-1 (though how this was arrived at is not mentioned!), which is much larger than the strain energy of [8]-cycloparaphenylene.

Figure 1. B3LYP/6-31G(d) optimized structure of 1
This is another molecule to be sure to click on and rotate using JMol.

The nature of the HOMO and LUMO of 1 is very different than that of linear tetra-2,7-pyrene. The degenerate HOMOs and degenerate LUMOs of the linear compound have a node at the 2 and 7 positions and are localized to the terminal and central pyrene units, respectively. The HOMO and LUMO of 1 are fully delocalized. The implications of this are seen in the spectroscopy and electrochemistry of 1.


(1) Iwamoto, T.; Kayahara, E.; Yasuda, N.; Suzuki, T.; Yamago, S. "Synthesis, Characterization, and Properties of [4]Cyclo-2,7-pyrenylene: Effects of Cyclic Structure on the Electronic Properties of Pyrene Oligomers," Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2014, 53, 6430-6434, DOI:


1: InChI=1S/C64H32/c1-2-34-18-50-20-36-4-3-35-19-49(17-33(1)57(35)58(34)36)51-21-37-5-7-41-25-53(26-42-8-6-38(22-51)59(37)61(41)42)55-29-45-13-15-47-31-56(32-48-16-14-46(30-55)63(45)64(47)48)54-27-43-11-9-39-23-52(50)24-40-10-12-44(28-54)62(43)60(39)40/h1-32H/b51-49-,52-50-,55-53-,56-54-

Aromaticity Steven Bachrach 09 Jul 2014 No Comments

Second Edition of Computational Organic Chemistry released!

The second edition of my book Computational Organic Chemistry has finally been published. The book is available directly from the publisher (Wiley) or from Amazon.

The book web page ( has been largely updated to reflect the new content: the complete Table of Contents is available as are links to all of the citations. I hope to have all of the molecules added to the web site soon. (All of the materials associated with the First Edition of the book are still available through this same site.)

You’ll notice the great cover for the Second Edition. The image is of the molecular complex designed by Iwamoto and co-workers,1 which I blogged about in this post. The image was prepared by my sister Lisa! (You can see more of her work here.)

The book contains a lot of updated materials along with a great deal of new sections and chapters. The next couple of blog posts will go into some detail about what is new in the Second Edition.

I do want to thank all of the commenters to my blog for their encouragement towards both maintaining this blog service and writing the Second Edition. The many comments helped inform my selections of new materials to include in the new edition.

I hope you enjoy the book and as always I welcome any and all comments and feedback!


(1) Iwamoto, T.; Watanabe, Y.; Sadahiro, T.; Haino, T.; Yamago, S. "Size-Selective Encapsulation of C60 by [10]Cycloparaphenylene: Formation of the Shortest Fullerene-Peapod," Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2011, 50, 8342-8344, DOI: 10.1002/anie.201102302

Second Edition Steven Bachrach 14 Apr 2014 2 Comments

Fantastic host-guest complex

Check out this an incredibly cool host guest complex: the [10]-cycloparaphenylene ([10]CPP) hoop encapsulating C60!1

(Be sure to click on this image to bring up the 3-D interactive structure – as with all structures in my blog!)

1H and 13C NMR and fluorescence quenching spectrometry clearly indicate that this complex is formed when [10]CPP is mixed with C60 in toluene. In fact, when C60 is mixed with a mixture of nanohoops ranging from 8 to 12 phenyl ring, only the [10]CPP hoop complexes with the fullerene. The experimental binding energy is between 38 and 59 kJ mol-1.

M06-2x/6-31G* computations give the structure shown above. The computed binding energy is 173 kJ mol-1, but the computations do not include solvent. So this overestimation might be somewhat due to the difference in gas phase vs. solution complexation.

(Check out this post for other interesting nanohoops.)


(1) Iwamoto, T.; Watanabe, Y.; Sadahiro, T.; Haino, T.; Yamago, S., "Size-Selective Encapsulation of C60 by [10]Cycloparaphenylene: Formation of the Shortest Fullerene-Peapod," Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2011, 50, 8342-8344, DOI: 10.1002/anie.201102302

nanohoops Steven Bachrach 13 Sep 2011 3 Comments

Chiral Nanohoops

Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNT) can be thought of as built from component macrocycles, often called nanohoops. So, for example, cycloparaphenylenes like 1 can be the thought of as the precursor (at least in principle) of armchair SWNTs. To create chiral SWNTs, Itami1 has suggested that cycloparaphenylene-naphthalene (2) and other acene substituted macrocycles would serve as appropriate precursors.



Itami has synthesized 2 (having 13 phenyl groups and one naphthyl group) and also examined the ring strain energy and racemization energy of a series of these types of compounds at B3LYP/6-31G(d). As might be expected, based on studies of the cycloparaphenylenes themselves,2,3 ring strain energy decreases with increasing size of the macrocycle. So, for example, the macrocycle with one naphthyl group and 5 phenyl rings has a strain energy of 90 kcal mol-1, but the strain is reduced to 40 kcal mol-1 with 13 phenyl rings.

The macrocycle 2 and related structures are chiral, existing in P and M forms. The racemization involves first rotation of the naphthyl group, as shown in Figure 1, with a barrier of about 8 kcal mol-1. The direct product has the opposite stereochemistry but is not in the lowest energy conformation. Rotations of some phenyl groups remains to occur, but these rotations are expected to have a barrier less than that for the rotation of the naphthyl group, based on the previous study of cycloparaphenylenes. Again, the racemization barrier decreases with the size of the macrocycle.




Figure 1. B3LYP/6-31G(d) optimized structures along the racemization pathway of 2.


(1) Omachi, H.; Segawa, Y.; Itami, K., "Synthesis and Racemization Process of Chiral Carbon Nanorings: A Step toward the Chemical Synthesis of Chiral Carbon Nanotubes," Org. Lett., 2011, 13, 2480-2483, DOI: 10.1021/ol200730m

(2) Segawa, Y.; Omachi, H.; Itami, K., "Theoretical Studies on the Structures and Strain Energies of Cycloparaphenylenes," Org. Lett., 2010, 12, 2262-2265, DOI: 10.1021/ol1006168

(3) Bachrach, S. M.; Stuck, D., "DFT Study of Cycloparaphenylenes and Heteroatom-Substituted Nanohoops," J. Org. Chem., 2010, 75, 6595-6604, DOI: 10.1021/jo101371m


2: InChI=1/C88H58/c1-2-60-4-3-59(1)61-5-9-63(10-6-61)65-13-17-67(18-14-65)69-21-25-71(26-22-69)73-29-33-75(34-30-73)77-37-41-79(42-38-77)81-45-49-83(50-46-81)85-53-55-88-58-86(54-56-87(88)57-85)84-51-47-82(48-52-84)80-43-39-78(40-44-80)76-35-31-74(32-36-76)72-27-23-70(24-28-72)68-19-15-66(16-20-68)64-11-7-62(60)8-12-64/h1-58H/b61-59-,62-60-,65-63-,66-64-,69-67-,70-68-,73-71-,74-72-,77-75-,78-76-,81-79-,82-80-,85-83-,86-84+

nanohoops Steven Bachrach 31 May 2011 9 Comments