With the development of high-pressure apparatus, in situ characterization methods and theoretical calculations, high-pressure technology becomes a more and more important method to synthesize new compounds with unusual structures and properties. By compressing compounds containing unsaturated carbon atoms, novel poly-ionic polymers, graphanes and carbon nanothreads were obtained. Their compositions and structures were carefully studied by combining multiple cutting-edge technologies, like the in situ high-pressure X-ray and neutron diffraction, transmission electron microscopy, pair distribution function, solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance and gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy. The reaction mechanisms were investigated based on the crystal structure at the reaction threshold pressure (the pressure just before the reaction taking place), the long-range and short-range structure of the product, molecular structure of the intermediates, as well as the theoretical calculation. In this review, we will summarize the synthesis of carbon materials by compressing the unsaturated compounds and its reaction characteristics under extreme conditions. The topochemical reaction mechanism and related characterization methods of the molecular system will be highlighted. This review will provide a reference for designing chemical reaction and exploring novel carbon materials under high-pressure condition.
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