Two-dimensional radial-π-stacks in solution

Chem Sci. 2024 Mar 11;15(15):5604-5611. doi: 10.1039/d4sc00195h. eCollection 2024 Apr 17.


Highly organized π-aggregate architectures can strongly affect electronic couplings, leading to important photophysical behaviors. With the escalating interest in two-dimensional (2D) materials attributed to their exceptional electronic and optical characteristics, there is growing anticipation that 2D radial-π-stacks built upon radial π-conjugation nanorings, incorporating intra- and inter-ring electronic couplings within the confines of a 2D plane, will exhibit superior topological attributes and distinct properties. Despite their immense potential, the design and synthesis of 2D π-stacks have proven to be a formidable challenge due to the insufficient π-π interactions necessary for stable stacking. In this study, we present the successful preparation of single-layer 2D radial-π-stacks in a solution. Pillar-shaped radially π-conjugated [4]cyclo-naphthodithiophene diimide ([4]C-NDTIs) molecules were tetragonally arranged via in-plane intermolecular π-π interactions. These 2D π-stacks have a unique topology that differs from that of conventional 1D π-stacks and exhibit notable properties, such as acting as a 2D template capable of absorbing C60 guest molecules and facilitating the formation of 2D radial-π-stacks comprising [4]C-NDTI-C60 complexes, rapid exciton delocalization across the 2D plane, and efficient excitation energy funneling towards a trap.