Since the first experimental detection of graphene, a huge research effort has been made to implement its exceptional properties in carbon-based technologies. The well-ordered molecular alignments using small pieces of graphene called nanographenes (NGs) can be used to engineer supramolecular structures for certain practical applications. Kato et al. report the discovery of a negatively curved NG that is able to spontaneously self-assemble in one dimension by continuous π–π stacking without any assisting substituents. This NG forms double-helix supramolecular all-sp2-carbon nanofibers that demonstrate high gelation efficiency. This work paves the way for the design and synthesis of supramolecular materials based on analogous NGs that have great potential in future applications.
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 143, 5465 (2021).