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Keywords:

  • alkane activation;
  • cage compounds;
  • diamondoids;
  • nanodiamonds;
  • nanomaterials

Abstract

Marilyn Monroe knew that “diamonds are a girl's best friend” but, in the meantime, many chemists have realized that they are also extremely attractive objects in contemporary chemistry. The chemist's diamonds are usually quite small (herein: nanometer-sized “diamondoids”) and as a result of their unique structure are unusual chemical building blocks. Since lower diamondoids (up to triamantane) have recently become available in large amounts from petroleum and higher diamondoids (starting from tetramantane) are now also accessible from crude oil new research involving them has begun to emerge. Having well-defined structures makes these cage compounds so special compared to other nanometer-scale diamonds. Selective and high-yielding synthetic approaches to the functionalization of diamondoids gives derivatives that can find applications in, for example, polymers, coating materials, drugs, and molecular electronics.