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David Bradley ISSUE #20
November 2001

Buckyballs deflated

The crystal structure of a fluorinated [60]fullerene - C60F48·2mesitylene - has revealed the presence of both D3 and S6 isomers in the same crystal. Rather than being the spherically symmetrical soccer-ball buckminsterfullerene, this halo-derivative of the Nobel-Prize winning molecule has some bonds much shorter than their fullerene counterpart and so the C60 cage is characterized by concave areas.

According to Sergei Troyanov, Ol'ga Boltalina and their colleagues at the Moscow State University working with crystallographer Erhard Kemnitz of the Humboldt University in Berlin, the double bonds within this derivative are shielded by four fluorine atoms, making the native C60F48 rather unreactive.

Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2001, 40(12), 2285*

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