Hexacene is an aromatic molecule consisting of six linearly-fused benzene rings. Hexacene and its derivatives are investigated for potential applications as organic semiconductor.
Additional recommended knowledge
Hexacene is one of a series of linear acenes, the previous one being pentacene (five fused benzene rings) and the next one being heptacene (seven fused benzene rings) .
Hexacene is very unstable, being highly reactive in the 6, 15 positions due to pi electron localization. Its spectra must be collected on freshly purified samples handled in an inert atmosphere such as nitrogen or argon. Only with very large substituents it is possible to isolate an hexacene for instance the compound 6,15-bis(tri-t-butylsilylethynyl)hexacene which melts with decomposition at 96°C. 
The first reported synthesis of hexacene itself dates back to 1942  In 1955 the compound is synthesized by dehydrogenation of hexacosadehydrohexacene by palladium on carbon . In 1982 hexacene is reported as a bluish green compound with decomposition at 380 degrees . In 2007, a research group claimed the first reproducible unsubstituted hexacene synthesis (invalidating the previous claims) based on photochemical decarbonylation of a dione precursor :
The compound cannot be isolated: it dimerizes even at concentration as low as 10-4 M and reacts in solution with oxygen to the organic peroxide. In a PMMA polymer matrix on the other hand these side-reactions are limited and the compound can survive up to 12 hours. The next homologue heptacene also studied by this group, is even more unstable (decomposes within 4 hours).
- ^ The CAS registry number is [258-38-8]. Molecular weight 328 g.mol-1.
- ^ Payne M. M., Parkin S. R., Anthony J. E. (2005). "Functionalized higher acenes: hexacene and heptacene". Journal of the American Chemical Society 127 (22): 8028-9. doi:S0002-7863(05)01798-1 10.1021/ja051798v S0002-7863(05)01798-1.
- ^ E. Clar (1942). "Eine neue Synthese des Hexacens (Aromatische Kohlenwasserstoffe, XXXIV. Mitteil.)". Berichte der deutschen chemischen Gesellschaft 75 (11): 1283-1287. doi:10.1002/cber.19420751102.
- ^ Cyclic Dienes. XI. New Syntheses of Hexacene and Heptacene William J. Bailey and Chien-Wei Liao J. Am. Chem. Soc.; 1955; 77(4) pp 992 - 993; doi:10.1021/ja01609a055
- ^ Angliker H., Rommel E., Wirz J. (1982). "Electronic spectra of hexacene in solution (ground state, triplet state, dication and dianion)". Chemical Physics Letters 87 (2): 208-12. doi:10.1016/0009-2614(82)83589-6.
- ^ Revisiting the Stability of Hexacenes Rajib Mondal, Ravi M. Adhikari, Bipin K. Shah, and Douglas C. Neckers Org. Lett.; 2007; 9(13) pp 2505 - 2508; (Letter) doi:10.1021/ol0709376