The triptycene scaffold has been ring-opened by using a retro-Friedel-Crafts-type reaction under acidic conditions to give its corresponding anthrone product. 9-Hydroxytriptycenes and unsubstituted triptycene undergo ring-opening reaction under strongly acidic conditions, such as with TfOH. An investigation of the substitution effect has revealed that the electron-donating group on the arene moiety allows the reaction to proceed in the presence of a weaker acid, such as TFA. In addition, the reaction has been successfully applied toward the synthesis of tetracene.
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