Solid-State Pyrolysis of Polyphenylene–Metal Complexes: A Facile Approach Toward Carbon Nanoparticles


  • This work was financially supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (SFB 625), the Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung for a Research Fellowship and the Max-Planck Society through the program ENERCHEM. We also gratefully acknowledge Cornelia Beer and René Schmuck for technical assistance, and Prof. G. J. Bodwell and Dr. Kyle Plunkett for their help in preparing this manuscript. Supporting Information is available online from Wiley InterScience or from the author.


Novel polyphenylene–metal complexes with discotic, linear, and dendritic geometries are synthesized by using a facile approach consisting of reactions between Co2(CO)8 and ethynyl functionalities in dichloromethane. Various carbon nanoparticles (CNPs), including graphitic carbon nanotubes (CNTs), graphitic carbon rods, and carbon–metal hybrid particles are obtained from the solid-state pyrolysis of these complexes. The ultimate structures of the CNPs are found to be dependant on the structure and composition of the starting compounds. Precursors containing graphenes always result in graphitic CNTs in high yield, whereas dendritic precursors give rodlike carbon materials. Alternatively, linear oligo(arylethylene) precursors afford mostly carbon–metal hybrids with large amounts of amorphous carbon. Furthermore, the CNP structures could be controlled by adjusting the carbon/metal ratio, the type and position of the metal incorporated into the precursor, and the mode of pyrolysis. These results provide further chances toward understanding the mechanism of CNP formation.