Concerted proton tunneling in molecular chains

We studied hydrogen-bonded one-dimensional quinonediimine molecular networks which may adopt two isomeric electronic configurations via proton transfer. Herein, we demonstrate that concerted proton transfer promotes a delocalization of π-electrons along the molecular chain, which enhances the cohesive energy between molecular units, increasing the mechanical stability of the chain and giving rise to distinctive electronic in-gap states localized at the ends. These findings demonstrate the identification of a class of isomeric hydrogen-bonded molecular systems where nuclear quantum effects play a dominant role in establishing their chemical and physical properties. 

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ACS Nano (2021)