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Nat Chem. 2010 Aug;2(8):678-83. doi: 10.1038/nchem.698. Epub 2010 Jun 20.

A layered ionic crystal of polar Li@C(60) superatoms.

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Department of Applied Physics, Nagoya University, Nagoya 464-8603, Japan.


If the physical properties of C(60) fullerene molecules can be controlled in C(60) products already in use in various applications, the potential for industrial development will be significant. Encapsulation of a metal atom in the C(60) fullerene molecule is a promising way to control its physical properties. However, the isolation of C(60)-based metallofullerenes has been difficult due to their insolubility. Here, we report the complete isolation and determination of the molecular and crystal structure of polar cationic Li@C(60) metallofullerene. The physical and chemical properties of Li@C(60) cation are compared with those of pristine C(60). It is found that the lithium cation is located at off-centre positions in the C(60)-I(h) cage interior and that the [Li(+)@C(60)] salt has a unique two-dimensional structure. The present method of purification and crystallization of C(60)-based metallofullerenes provides a new C(60) fullerene material that contains a metal atom.

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