An isolable catenane consisting of two Möbius conjugated nanohoops
Besides its mathematical importance, the Möbius topology (twisted, single-sided strip) is intriguing at the molecular level, as it features structural elegance and distinct properties; however, it carries synthetic challenges. Although some Möbius-type molecules have been isolated by synthetic chemists accompanied by extensive computational studies, the design, preparation, and characterization of stable Möbius-conjugated molecules remain a nontrivial task to date, let alone that of molecular Möbius strips assembling into more complex topologies. Here we report the efficient synthesis, crystal structure, and theoretical study of a catenane consisting of two fully conjugated nanohoops exhibiting Möbius topology in the solid state. This work highlights that oligoparaphenylene-derived nanohoops, a family of highly warped and synthetically challenging conjugated macrocycles, can not only serve as building blocks for interlocked supermolecular structures, but also represent a new class of compounds with isolable Möbius conformations stabilized by non-covalent interactions.