Hydrocarbon molecule shaped like Olympic rings created
Washington: Scientists have synthesised olympicene - a highly versatile hydrocarbon molecule shaped like the Olympic Games logo.
Olympicenes are like the decathletes of nanoscale molecules. Their range of potential applications include sophisticated sensors, information and energy storage, solar cells and high-tech LEDs.
"An olympicene is a molecule consisting of five rings that resemble the shape of the famous Olympic rings," said Igor Alabugin, professor at Florida State University (FSU) in the US.
"This new process for synthesising these molecules offers a unique tool for the preparation of structurally precise carbon-rich nanostructures," said Alabugin. The first olympicene molecule was unveiled by British chemists in anticipation of the 2012 London Olympics.
Until now, synthesising these unique structures was only possible through an arduous and intensive seven-step process based largely on chemistry dating back to the 1960s.
Using a new technique described in the study published in the journal Angewandte Chemie, the team at FSU fused an additional hexagonal ring of carbon atoms to the zigzag edge of an existing carbon-rich molecule in two quick steps.