Isolation of a carbon nanohoop with Möbius topology

Carbon nanohoop, a class of constrained molecular architecture consisting of linked arene units, has attracted considerable interest from both experimental and theoretical chemists due to their synthetic challenge and aesthetic architectures. Another fascinating and synthetically challenging species, the Möbius-type molecule, has been attracting the scientific community with its elegant structure and aromaticity. Thus, combining two things together, synthesizing a carbon nanohoop with Möbius topology remains more challenging to date.

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.