On-surface synthesis of semiconducting graphdiyne nanowires usually suffer severe side reactions owing to the high reactivity of the butadiynylene units at noble metal surfaces, limiting the production of isolated nanowires. In this work, we report the high-yield synthesis of branchless graphdiyne nanowires [-C≡C-Ph2
via on-surface Ullmann coupling of 1,4-bis(4-bromophenyl)-1,3-butadiyne molecules with chemical vapor deposition method. Non-contact atomic force microscopy with single-bond resolution reveals that single gold adatoms act as effective protecting groups for butadiynylene units by forming Au-π ligand bonds, preventing unwanted branched coupling reactions and enabling the synthesis of ultralong isolated graphdiyne nanowires. This study will stimulate further investigation on the role of various surface adatoms in protecting on-surface reactions.