Angew. Chem. Int. Ed.: On-Surface Debromination of 2,3-Bis(dibromomethyl)- and 2,3-Bis(bromomethyl)naphthalene: Dimerization or Polymerization?


We describe the on-surface dehalogenative homocoupling of benzylic bromides, namely bis-bromomethyl-and bis-gem-(dibromomethyl)naphthalene as a potential route to either hydrocarbon dimers or conjugated polymers on Au(111). While bis-gem-(dibromomethyl)naphthalene affords different dimers with naphthocyclobutadiene as the key intermediate, bis-bromomethylnaphthalene furnishes a poly(o-naphthylene vinylidene) as anon-conjugated polymer which undergoes dehydrogenation toward its conjugated derivative poly(o-naphthylene vinylene) upon mild annealing. A combination of scanning tunneling microscopy, non-contact atomic force microscopy and density functional theory calculations provides deep insights into the prevailing mechanisms.

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