The original article is here. If the previous blog post is any indicator, graphene and its alternate forms are majorly popular in the field of materials science and engineering. Every research institution will invariably have a group doing work on some form of graphene. Now, what makes this particular form of graphene interesting?
Carbon likes to form 4 sp3 hybridized orbitals, or in the case of graphene, 3 sp2 hybrid orbitals plus one pi bond allowing it to form a planar molecule. The structure of triangulene is such that it cannot form a stabilizing pi bond which leaves two lone pairs of electrons floating around the middle carbon rings. This process had to be done in a vacuum because the resulting molecule is so reactive that any contaminates would instantly react with it.
Something to bear in mind with this research, which is said in the article, but I’ll reiterate here: this molecule was neither characterized nor was a mass production process developed. Meaning that none of the triangulene’s material properties were determined, the research was done as a proof of concept. Mass production will be an especially difficult problem to overcome because each molecule was made one at a time with each individual hydrogen bond cleaved under SEM. There’s not much else I can say about this, the research is mostly proof of concept. Next blog post will be a materials science related tutorial. Thanks for reading!