Self-assembly of organic macrocycles has been exploited as a preliminary step in the synthesis of soluble and tailorable carbon-based nanostructures. Functionalized nanotubes have been prepared using, as core building blocks, nearly planar ring structures containing several alkyne units, exploiting the geometry achieved in the spontaneous preassembling step driven by π interaction. Covalent cross-linking between these units was achieved by thermal or photochemical activation with UV light. Here, we apply a moderate pressure in a sapphire anvil cell (1.0 GPa) to facilitate the preassembling and induce the cross-linking under pressure either with visible light, absorbed by two-photon absorption, or thermally. We observe a high yield of enhanced quality cross-linked nanotubes in a sample, showing, at ambient pressure, only side-chain decomposition. These results show that moderate pressures, easily achievable in large volume cells, are able to selectively favor topochemical reactions in such complex organic systems.
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