Fullerenes are compelling molecular materials owing to their exceptional robustness toward multi-electron reduction. Although scientists have attempted to address this feature by synthesizing various fragment molecules, the origin of this electron affinity remains unclear. Several structural factors have been suggested, including high symmetry, curved structures, and five-membered ring substructures. To elucidate the role of the five-membered ring substructures without the influence of high symmetry and curved structure, we herein report the synthesis and electron-accepting properties of oligo(biindenylidene)s, a one-dimensional fragment of fullerene C60. Electrochemical studies corroborated that oligo(biindenylidene)s accept electrons equal to the number of five-membered rings in their main chains. Moreover, ultraviolet/visible/near-infrared absorption spectroscopy revealed that oligo(biindenylidene)s exhibit significantly enhanced absorption covering the entire visible region in relation to C60. These results highlight the significance of the pentagonal substructure for attaining stability toward multi-electron reduction and provide a new strategy for the molecular design of electron-accepting -conjugated hydrocarbons.
Experimental procedures and characterization data. Supplementary discussions 1–3, Figs. 1–42, Tables 1–14, and relevant references 1–6.