Coronene Fusion by Heat Treatment: Road to Nanographenes
The reactions of coronene dehydrogenation and fusion upon heat treatment in the temperature range of 500-700 degrees C were studied using XRD, TEM, Raman, IR, and NEXAFS spectroscopy. The formation of a coronene dimer (dicoronylene) was observed at temperatures 530-550 degrees C; dicoronylene can easily be separated using sublimation with a temperature gradient. An insoluble and not sublimable black precipitate was found to form at higher temperatures. Analysis of the data shows that dimerization of coronene is followed at 550-600 degrees C by oligomerization into larger molecules. Above 600 degrees C amorphization of the material and formation of graphitic nanoparticles was observed. Coronene fusion by annealing is proposed as a road to synthesis of larger polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and nanographenes.