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Molecular Nanocarbon

  • Institute of Transformative Bio-Molecules

Kenichiro Itami [Professor]

http://synth.chem.nagoya-u.ac.jp/wordpress/?lang=en/

Outline of Seeds

We have been conducting research on molecular nanocarbons by incorporating the essences of synthetic organic chemistry and molecular catalysis, with the aim of making the otherwise impossible synthesis and utilization of single-molecule nanocarbons a reality. Representative achievements include: (1) the selective, high-yielding synthesis of carbon nanorings (the shortest sidewall segment of carbon nanotubes) and their use as templates for diameter-selective synthesis of carbon nanotubes, (2) the direct extension of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon -systems resulting in the controlled synthesis of nanographenes, (3) the creation of three-dimensional warped single-molecule nanocarbon structures, and (4) the controlled functionalization of fullerenes. Our method for diameter-selective synthesis of carbon nanotubes is extremely simple; it only involves reacting ethanol (as a carbon source) at 500C with CPPs coated onto a sapphire substrate. By choosing the diameter of the CPPs used as the template, CNTs of the same diameter can be selectively synthesized. This revolutionary CNT synthesis method is made possible by combining chemical techniques for making the template with physical techniques for growing the CNTs from the template.

Novelty and originality of this research

In the 1990s, nanocarbons began to be hailed as the next-generation material due to their strength, lightweight, and conducting properties. However, aside from fullerenes, all existing nanocarbons (e.g., carbon nanotubes, graphene) are mixtures, not pure single molecules. Our objectives are (1) to design and synthesize novel nanocarbons that are single structures, individually distinguishable and identifiable and (2) to create highly advanced functional materials based on these single-molecule materials.

Application and research area for Industry collaboration

Formed from benzene units connected together in unique geometric patterns, nanocarbons can conduct electricity, absorb and emit light, possess interesting magnetic properties, and can act as hosts to other molecules. Moreover, nanocarbons have potential applications in biology, such as in artificial skin and nerves, in synthetic biology involving artificial cells and viruses, and in bioimaging. We will develop a new methodology and technology for molecular synthesis and structural analysis of nanocarbons. Our achievement is expected to foster breakthroughs in in a wide range of fields suchi as chemistry, physics and biology.

Key Takeaway

We aim to establish a new field of study called molecular nanocarbon science in Japan.

Keywords

nanocarbon materials, organic synthesis, chemical vapor deposition, precise structure analysis, photo-electronic-magnetic devices, solar cells, material storage, imaging

Technologies

  • Design and chemical / physical synthesis of nanocarbon molecules
  • Analysis of structure and characteristics of nanocarbon molecules
  • Synthesis of nanocarbon molecular assemblies

Equipment

  • glove box, various CVD machine, high-performance liquid chromatography, gas chromatography, mass spectrometry, NMR, X-ray crystallography, electron microscope, atomic force microscope, near-field Raman microscope, tunable laser, UV-vis-NIR spectrophotometer, fluorescence spectrophotometer, Raman spectrophotometer, electrochemical measurement devices, mass microscope, ect.

Patents

  • WO 2011/099588 A1 "CARBON NANORING,METHOD FOR PRODUCING SAME,COMPOUND SUITABLE AS STARTING MATERIAL FOR PRODUCING THE CARBON NANORING ,AND METHOD FOR PRODUCING THE COMPOUND"
  • WO 2012/121354 A1 "CARBON NANOTUBE MANUFACTURING METHOD"
  • WO 2012/169635 A1 "METHOD FOR PRODUCING POLYCYCLIC AROMATIC COMPOUND SUBSTITUTED BY ARYL GROUP"

Monographs, Papers and Articles

  • "Selective Synthesis of [12]Cycloparaphenylene" Hiroko Takaba, Haruka Omachi, Yosuke Yamamoto, Jean Bouffard, Kenichiro Itami. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2009, 48, 6112 –6116.
  • "Synthesis of Cycloparaphenylenes and Related Carbon Nanorings: A Step toward the Controlled Synthesis of Carbon Nanotubes" Haruka Omachi, Yasutomo Segawa, Kenichiro Itami. Acc. Chem. Res. 2012, 45, 1378-1389.
  • "Initiation of carbon nanotube growth by well-defined carbon nanorings" Haruka Omachi, Takuya Nakayama, Eri Takahashi, Yasutomo Segawa, Kenichiro Itami. Nat. Chem. 2013, 5, 572–576.
  • "A grossly warped nanographene and the consequences of multiple odd-membered-ring defects" Katsuaki Kawasumi, Qianyan Zhang, Yasutomo Segawa, Lawrence T. Scott, Kenichiro Itami. Nat. Chem. 2013, 5, 739–744.