Molecular Nanographenes: the Search for Enantioselectivity

Nazario Martín / IMDEA-Nanoscience Institute, Complutense University of Madrid, Spain


Nanographenes (NGs) have usually been synthetized following a top-down approach by “cutting” a graphene sheet into smaller fragments using chemical or physical methods. Although this methodology starts from readily accessible bulk materials and it is easily scalable, it does not allow a fine control of the properties due to the polydispersion in sizes and shapes of the final material. In contrast, the bottom-up approach in which NGs are grown up from smaller chemical entities using solution-phase benchtop organic synthesis, leads to monodisperse molecules with a precise control on the size and shape, exhibiting fine-tuned optoelectronic properties.

Thus, taking advantage of the versatility that provides the set of organic reactions available, and the selectivity of these transformations depending on the reaction conditions, a large number of molecular NGs have been synthetized by design in the recent years. An example of this control is the introduction of out-of-plane defects at will, namely curvature, helicity, or strain, resulting in the presence of chirality as an additional and remarkable structural control.

Along the last recent years, we have carried out the synthesis and unveiled the properties of a variety of molecular nanographenes in the search for new chiroptical and optoelectronic properties in all-carbon materials.[1-5] In this presentation some recent and amazing NGs stemming from our research group, with special emphasis on the search for enantioselectivity, will be presented and discussed.



[1] J. M. Fernández-García, P. J. Evans, S. Filippone, M. A. Herranz, N.  Martín, “Chiral Molecular Carbon Nanostructures”, Acc. Chem. Res. 2019, 52, 1565-1574.
[2] P. J. Evans, et al., Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2018, 57, 6774 –6779.
[3] Z. Zhou, J. M. Fernández-García, et al. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2022, 61, e20211574.
[4] Patricia Izquierdo-García, et al. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2023, 145, 11599-11610.
[5] M. Buendía-Mateos, et al. Nat. Synth. 2024, accepted for publication.

Nazario Martín

is Full Professor at UCM and vice-director of the IMDEA-Nanociencia Institute. He is Dr. h.c. by La Havana and Castilla La Mancha Universities and member of the Royal Academy of Sciences of Spain (RAC) and Royal Academy of Doctors of Spain. His research interests are focused on molecular and supramolecular chemistry of carbon nanostructures in the context of chirality, electron transfer and biomedical and photovoltaic applications. He has published over 600 peer reviewed papers and supervised 50 theses. He was Editor-in-Chief of J. Mater. Chem. (A, B and C. 2015-19). He held the Presidency of the Confederation of Scientific Societies of Spain (COSCE, 2015-19) and the Spanish Royal Society of Chemistry (2006-2012). He held the ERC Advanced Grant “Chirallcarbon” (2013-2019).

Prof. Martín has been distinguished with several awards. Among them, the Gold Medal and Research Award of the RSEQ, 2012; Jaime I Award in basic research, 2012 Miguel Catalán Award CM, 2015; Alexander von Humboldt Award in 2013; Richard E. Smalley Award in 2013; and the EuChems lecture in 2012. More recently, he has been granted with the Synergy-ERC project “Tomatto” (2021-2027), as well as the Spanish National Award in Chemistry “Enrique Moles” given by the Spanish Ministry for Science and Innovation (MICIN), both in 2020.

He is currently a member of the IAB of ChemPlusChem and ChemNanoMat.