Fully conjugated π-expanded macrocyclic oligothiophenes with 60π-180π electron systems have been synthesized using modified McMurry coupling reaction as a key step. X-ray analyses of 60π and 72π systems revealed unique molecular and packing structures, reflecting planar cyclic structures with large inner cavities. All giant macrocycles exhibit multi-step reversible redox behavior with fairly low first oxidation potentials, reflecting their cyclic conjugation. Doping of macrocycles with iodine forms semiconductors owing to their π-donor properties and π-π stacking ability. Interestingly, 90π and 120π systems self-aggregate in the solid state to form red nanofibers. The structures of fibrous aggregates have been established by SEM and AFM analyses. Furthermore, two-photon properties of 72π, 108π, 144π, and 180π systems show that the increasing π-conjugation leads to an increase in the two-photon absorption cross-section with magnitudes as high as 100,000 GM in the visible spectral region. © 2008.
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