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Science. 2005 Jan 14;307(5707):238-40.

Encapsulation of molecular hydrogen in fullerene C60 by organic synthesis.

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  • 1Institute for Chemical Research, Kyoto University, Uji, Kyoto 611-0011, Japan.


In spite of their importance in fundamental and applied studies, the preparation of endohedral fullerenes has relied on difficult-to-control physical methods. We report a four-step organic reaction that completely closes a 13-membered ring orifice of an open-cage fullerene. This process can be used to synthesize a fullerene C60 encapsulating molecular hydrogen, which can be isolated as a pure product. This molecular surgical method should make possible the preparation of a series of C60 fullerenes, encapsulating either small atoms or molecules, that are not accessible by conventional physical methods.

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