Inception of Carbonaceous Nanostructures via Hydrogen-Abstraction Phenylacetylene-Addition Mechanism

Hanfeng Jin, Lili Ye, Jiuzhong Yang, Yu Jiang, Long Zhao, Aamir Farooq

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Sufficient experimental evidence has suggested that polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are the building blocks of carbonaceous nanostructures in combustion and circumstellar envelops of carbon-rich stars, but their fundamental formation mechanisms remain elusive. By exploring the reaction kinetics of phenylacetylene with 1-naphthyl/4-phenanthryl radicals, we provide compelling theoretical and experimental evidence for a novel and self-consistent hydrogen-abstraction phenylacetylene-addition (HAPaA) mechanism. HAPaA operates efficiently at both low and high temperatures, leading to the formation, expansion, and nucleation of peri-condensed aromatic hydrocarbons (PCAHs), which are otherwise difficult to synthesis via traditional hydrogen-abstraction acetylene/vinylacetylene-addition pathways. The HAPaA mechanism can be generalized to other α-alkynyl PCAHs and thus provides an alternative covalent bond bridge for PCAH combination via an acetylene linker. The proposed HAPaA mechanism may contribute toward a comprehensive understanding of soot formation, carbonaceous nanomaterials synthesis, and the origin and evolution of carbon in our galaxy.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
StatePublished - Nov 16 2021

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2021-11-24
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): OSR
Acknowledgements: This research was funded by the Office of Sponsored Research (OSR) at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and National Natural Science Foundation of China (no. 51606122).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry
  • General Chemistry
  • Catalysis


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