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Concept: Fullerene


The interaction between the inner atoms/cluster and the outer fullerene cage is the source of various novel properties of endohedral metallofullerenes. Herein, we introduce an adatom-type spin polarization defect on the surface of a typical endohedral stable U(2)@C(60) to predict the associated structure and electronic properties of U(2)@C(61) based on the density functional theory method. We found that defect induces obvious changes in the electronic structure of this metallofullerene. More interestingly, the ground state of U(2)@C(61) is nonet spin in contrast to the septet of U(2)@C(60). Electronic structure analysis shows that the inner U atoms and the C ad-atom on the surface of the cage contribute together to this spin state, which is brought about by a ferromagnetic coupling between the spin of the unpaired electrons of the U atoms and the C ad-atom. This discovery may provide a possible approach to adapt the electronic structure properties of endohedral metallofullerenes.

Concepts: Scientific method, Magnetic field, Quantum mechanics, Fundamental physics concepts, Density functional theory, Pauli exclusion principle, Fullerene, Metallofullerene


Processing and manipulation of highly conductive pristine graphene in large quantities are still major challenges in the practical application of graphene for electric device. In the present study, we report the liquid-phase exfoliation of graphite in toluene using well-defined poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) to produce a P3HT/graphene composite. We synthesize and use regioregular P3HT with controlled molecular weights as conductive dispersants for graphene. Simple ultrasonication of graphite flakes with the P3HT successfully produces single-layer and few-layer graphene sheets dispersed in toluene. The produced P3HT/graphene composite can be used as conductive graphene ink, indicating that the P3HT/graphene composite has high electrical conductivity owing to the high conductivity of P3HT and graphene. The P3HT/graphene composite also works as an oxidation-resistant and conductive film for a copper substrate, which is due to the high gas-barrier property of graphene.

Concepts: Electricity, Electrical conductor, Aluminium, Copper, Graphite, Graphene, Electrical conductivity, Fullerene


Exohedral derivatization of endohedral metallofullerenes (EMFs) has been exploited as a useful method for characterizing the structural and chemical properties of EMFs, and for functionalizing them for potential applications. The introduction of heteroatoms, such as electropositive silicon atoms, to fullerene cages is a novel functionalization method that remarkably affects the electronic characteristics of fullerenes. This review comprehensively describes the results of the reactions of monometallofullerene, dimetallofullerene, and trimetallic nitride template EMFs with disilirane, silirane, silylene, and digermirane, which afforded the corresponding silylated and germylated fullerenes. Several examples emphasize that exohedral functionalization regulates the dynamic behaviors of the encapsulated metal atoms and clusters in the fullerene cages. The electronic effects of silyl and germyl groups are represented by comparing the redox properties of silylated and germylated EMFs with those of other EMFs derivatized with carbon-atom-based functional groups.

Concepts: Chemical reaction, Chemistry, Chemical element, Carbon, Transistor, Fullerene, Metallofullerene, Buckypaper


After the discovery of fullerene-C60, it took almost two decades for the possibility of boron-based fullerene structures to be considered. So far, there has been no experimental evidence for these nanostructures, in spite of the progress made in theoretical investigations of their structure and bonding. Here we report the observation, by photoelectron spectroscopy, of an all-boron fullerene-like cage cluster at B40(-) with an extremely low electron-binding energy. Theoretical calculations show that this arises from a cage structure with a large energy gap, but that a quasi-planar isomer of B40(-) with two adjacent hexagonal holes is slightly more stable than the fullerene structure. In contrast, for neutral B40 the fullerene-like cage is calculated to be the most stable structure. The surface of the all-boron fullerene, bonded uniformly via delocalized σ and π bonds, is not perfectly smooth and exhibits unusual heptagonal faces, in contrast to C60 fullerene.

Concepts: Scientific method, Electron, Carbon, Philosophy of science, Graphite, Bond, Fullerene, Truncated icosahedron


Implantable sensors utilizing nanotechnology are at the forefront of diagnostic, medical monitoring, and biological technologies. These sensors are often equipped with nanostructured carbon allotropes, such as graphene or carbon nanotubes (CNTs), because of their unique and often enhanced properties over forms of bulk carbon, such as diamond or graphite. Because of these properties, the fundamental and applied research of these carbon nanomaterials have become some of the most cited topics in scientific literature in the past decades. The age of carbon nanomaterials is simply budding, however, and is expected to have a major impact in many areas. These areas include electronics, photonics, plasmonics, energy capture (including batteries, fuel cells, and photovoltaics), and-the emphasis of this review-biosensors and sensor technologies. The following review will discuss future prospects of the two most commonly used carbon allotropes in implantable sensors for nanomedicine and nanobiotechnology, CNTs and graphene. Sufficient further reading and resources have been provided for more in-depth and specific reading that is outside the scope of this general review. WIREs Nanomed Nanobiotechnol 2013. doi: 10.1002/wnan.1213 For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website.

Concepts: Carbon, Nanotechnology, Nanomaterials, Carbon nanotube, Allotropes of carbon, Graphite, Graphene, Fullerene


Endohedral metallofullerenes (EMFs), a new class of hybrid molecules formed by encapsulation of metallic species inside fullerene cages, exhibit unique properties that differ distinctly from those of empty fullerenes because of the presence of metals and their hybridization effects via electron transfer. This critical review provides a balanced but not an exhaustive summary regarding almost all aspects of EMFs, including the history, the classification, current progress in the synthesis, extraction, isolation, and characterization of EMFs, as well as their physiochemical properties and applications in fields such as electronics, photovoltaics, biomedicine, and materials science. Emphasis is assigned to experimentally obtained results, especially the X-ray crystallographic characterizations of EMFs and their derivatives, rather than theoretical calculations, although the latter has indeed enhanced our knowledge of metal-cage interactions. Finally, perspectives related to future developments and challenges in the research of EMFs are proposed. (381 references).

Concepts: Electron, Chemistry, Science, Carbon, Physical chemistry, Materials science, Fullerene, Metallofullerene


A series of TiO2-graphene (GR), -carbon nanotube (CNT), and -fullerene (C60) nanocomposite photocatalysts with different weight addition ratios of carbon contents are synthesized via a combination of sol-gel and hydrothermal method. Their structures and properties are determined by the X-ray diffraction (XRD), UV-vis diffuse reflectance spectra (DRS), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), nitrogen adsorption-desorption and photoelectrochemical measurements. Photocatalytic selective oxidation of benzyl alcohol to benzaldehyde is employed as a model reaction to evaluate the photocatalytic activity of the TiO2-carbon (GR, CNT and C60) nanocomposites under visible light irradiation. The results reveal that incorporating TiO2 with carbon materials can extend the adsorption edge of all the TiO2-carbon nanocomposites to visible light region. For TiO2-GR, TiO2-CNT and TiO2-C60 nanocomposites, the photocatalytic activities of the composites with optimum ratios, TiO2-0.1% GR, TiO2-0.5% CNT and TiO2-1.0% C60, are very close to each other along with the irradiation time. Furthermore, the underlying reaction mechanism for the photocatalytic selective oxidation of benzyl alcohol to benzaldehyde over TiO2-carbon nanocomposites has been explored using different radicals scavengers technique, suggesting that TiO2-carbon photocatalysts follow the analogous oxidation mechanism toward selective oxidation of benzyl alcohol. The addition of different carbon materials has no significant influence on the crystal phase, particle size, and the morphology of TiO2. Therefore, it can be concluded, at least for nanocomposites of TiO2-carbon (GR, CNT and C60) obtained by the present approach, that there is no much difference in essence on affecting the photocatalytic performance of semiconductor TiO2 among these three different carbon allotropes, GR, CNT and C60. Our findings point to the importance of a comparative study of semiconductor-carbon photocatalysts on drawing a relatively objective conclusion rather than separately emphasizing the unique role of GR and joining the graphene gold rush.

Concepts: Electron, Carbon, Nanomaterials, Carbon nanotube, Allotropes of carbon, Graphite, Photocatalysis, Fullerene


The results of the theoretical investigation of the behavior of fullerenes C20 and C60 inside the icosahedral external shell on example of carbon nanoclusters, C20 @С240 and C60 @С540 , are presented in this article. The multiwell potential of interaction between fullerenes in investigated nanoclusters is calculated to reveal the regularities of moving for internal fullerene in the field of holding potential of the external shell. The possible variants of fullerenes C20 and C60 moving between the potential wells are predicted on base of topology data of the fullerenes relative positioning in nanoparticle and analysis of relief of the energy surface of interaction between fullerenes. The formulated prediction is confirmed by the data of the numerical experiment. The investigation of two-shell fullerenes allows to conclude that the light fullerene С20 will probably jump between the potential wells already at small temperatures (139-400 K) if the external shell is slightly bigger. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Concepts: Scientific method, Energy, Carbon, Nanotechnology, Graphite, Fullerene, Truncated icosahedron, Geodesic dome


While several nonchromatographic methods are available for the isolation and purification of endohedral fullerenes of the type M3N@Ih-C80, little work has been done that would allow other members of the M3N@C2n family to be isolated with minimal chromatography. Here, we report that Gd3N@D2(35)-C88 can be isolated from the multitude of endohedral and empty cage fullerenes present in carbon soot obtained by electric-arc synthesis using Gd2O3-doped graphite rods. The procedure developed utilizes successive precipitation with the Lewis acids CaCl2 and ZnCl2 followed by treatment with amino-functionalized silica gel. The structure of the product was identified by single-crystal X-ray diffraction.

Concepts: Diffraction, X-ray, Crystallography, Carbon, Silicon, Graphite, X-ray crystallography, Fullerene


Extraction with 2-aminoethanol is an inexpensive method for removing empty cage fullerenes from the soluble extract from electric-arc-generated fullerene soot that contains endohedral metallofullerenes of the type Sc3 N@C2n (n=34, 39, 40). Our method of separation exploits the fact that C60 , C70 , and other larger, empty cage fullerenes are more susceptible to nucleophilic attack than endohedral fullerenes and that these adducts can be readily extracted into 2-aminoethanol. This methodology has also been employed to examine the reactivity of the mixture of soluble endohedral fullerenes that result from doping graphite rods used in the Krätschmer-Huffman electric-arc generator with the oxides of Y, Lu, Dy, Tb, and Gd. For example, with Y2 O3 , we were able to detect by mass spectrometry several new families of endohedral fullerenes, namely Y3 C108 to Y3 C126 , Y3 C107 to Y3 C125 , Y4 C128 to Y4 C146 , that resisted reactivity with 2-aminoethanol more than the empty cage fullerenes and the mono- and dimetallo fullerenes. The discovery of the family Y3 C107 to Y3 C125 with odd numbers of carbon atoms is remarkable, since fullerene cages must involve even numbers of carbon atoms. The newly discovered families of endohedral fullerenes with the composition M4 C2n (M=Y, Lu, Dy, Tb, and Gd) are unusually resistant to reaction with 2-aminoethanol. Additionally, the individual endohedrals, Y3 C112 and M3 C102 (M=Lu, Dy, Tb and Gd), were remarkably less reactive toward 2-aminoethanol.

Concepts: Carbon dioxide, Carbon, Graphite, Graphene, Fullerene, Soot, Fullerene chemistry, Buckminster Fuller