Atomically Precise Bottom-Up Synthesis of π-extended [5]triangulene

Sci Adv. 2019 Jul 26;5(7):eaav7717. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aav7717. eCollection 2019 Jul.

Abstract

The zigzag-edged triangular graphene molecules (ZTGMs) have been predicted to host ferromagnetically coupled edge states with the net spin scaling with the molecular size, which affords large spin tunability crucial for next-generation molecular spintronics. However, the scalable synthesis of large ZTGMs and the direct observation of their edge states have been long-standing challenges because of the molecules' high chemical instability. Here, we report the bottom-up synthesis of π-extended [5]triangulene with atomic precision via surface-assisted cyclodehydrogenation of a rationally designed molecular precursor on metallic surfaces. Atomic force microscopy measurements unambiguously resolve its ZTGM-like skeleton consisting of 15 fused benzene rings, while scanning tunneling spectroscopy measurements reveal edge-localized electronic states. Bolstered by density functional theory calculations, our results show that [5]triangulenes synthesized on Au(111) retain the open-shell π-conjugated character with magnetic ground states.