Conjugated Macrocycles: Concepts and Applications
One of the most important objectives in materials, chemical, and physical sciences is the creation of large conjugated macrocycles with well-defined shapes, since such molecules are not only theoretically and experimentally interesting but also have potential applications in nanotechnology. Fully unsaturated macrocycles are regarded as models for infinitely conjugated π systems with inner cavities, and exhibit unusual optical and magnetic behavior. Macrocycles have interior and exterior sites, and site-specific substitution at both or either site can afford attractive structures, such as 1D, 2D, and 3D supramolecular nanostructures. These nanostructures could be controlled through the use of π-extended large macrocycles by a bottom-up strategy. Numerous shape-persistent π-conjugated macrocycles have been synthesized, but only a few are on the nanoscale. This Review focuses on nanosized π-conjugated macrocycles (>1 nm diameter) and giant macrocycles (>2 nm diameter), and summarizes their syntheses and properties.