Theory of Borazine-Derived Nanothreads: Enumeration, Reaction Pathways, and Piezoelectricity

Tao Wang, En Shi Xu, Bo Chen, Roald Hoffmann, Vincent H. Crespi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Nanothreads are one-dimensional macromolecules formed by pressure-induced polymerization along stacks of multiply unsaturated (or highly strained) molecules such as benzene (or cubane). Borazine is isoelectronic to benzene yet with substantial bond polarity, thus motivating a theoretical examination of borazine-derived nanothreads with degrees of saturation of 2, 4, and 6 (defined as the number of four-coordinated boron and nitrogen atoms per borazine formula unit). The energy increases upon going from molecular borazine to degree-2 borazine-derived threads and then decreases for degree-4 and degree-6 nanothreads as more σ bonds are formed. With the constraint of no more than two borazine formula units within the repeat unit of the framework's bonding topology, there are only 13 fully saturated (i.e., degree-6) borazine-derived nanothreads that avoid energetically costly homopolar bonds (as compared to more than 50 such candidates for benzene-derived threads). Only two of these are more stable than borazine. Hypothetical pathways from molecular borazine to these two degree-6 borazine-derived nanothreads are discussed. This relative paucity of outcomes may assist in kinetic control of reaction products. Beyond the high mechanical strength also predicted for carbon-based threads, properties such as piezoelectricity and flexoelectricity may be accessible to the polar lattice of borazine-derived nanothreads, with intriguing prospects for expression in these extremely thin yet rigid objects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15884-15893
Number of pages10
JournalACS nano
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 25 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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