This project will explore the synthesis and properties of fully pi-conjugated molecular nanorings with diameters of 3-5 nm. These covalent rings of molecular wire will be constructed from porphyrin and alkyne units, via non-covalent supramolecular assembly on wheel-shaped templates. Their highly delocalized electronic structures are expected to result in unusual optical and magnetic behavior. The photophysical and light-harvesting behavior of the nanorings are expected to mimic natural light-harvesting photosynthetic chlorophyll arrays. Physicists have long been fascinated by the persistent ring-currents and quantized magnetization observed in small loops of wire; it is important to discover whether similar effects can be observed in molecular nanorings. The synthesis of these wire rings could herald the development of molecular solenoids and induction coils with unusual optical and magnetic characteristics, leading to applications in nanoelectronics and nonlinear optics. This project will extend the researcher's experience of organic synthesis, large delocalized chromophores and near-infrared dyes, while introducing him to the latest developments in template-directed synthesis, ESR spectroscopy and ultra-fast photophysics through established collaborations involving the host research group.
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