Two Ih-symmetry-breaking C60 isomers stabilized by chlorination

Yuan Zhi Tan, Zhao Jiang Liao, Zhuo Zhen Qian, Rui Ting Chen, Xin Wu, Hua Liang, Xiao Han, Feng Zhu, Sheng Jun Zhou, Zhiping Zheng, Xin Lu, Su Yuan Xie, Rong Bin Huang, Lan Sun Zheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

100 Scopus citations


One abiding surprise in fullerene science is that Ih-symmetric buckminsterfullerene C60 (ref. 1) (Ih-C60 or #1,812C60, the nomenclature specified by symmetry or by Fowler's spiral algorithm2) remains the sole C60 species experimentally available. Setting it apart from the other 1,811 topological isomers (isobuckminsterfullerenes) is its exclusive conformity with the isolated-pentagon rule3, which states that stable fullerenes have isolated pentagons. Although gas-phase existence of isobuckminsterfullerenes has long been suspected4-7, synthetic efforts have yet to yield successful results. Here, we report the realization of two isobuckminsterfullerenes by means of chlorination of the respective C 2v- and Cs-symmetric C60 cages. These chlorinated species, #1,809C60Cl8(1) and #1,804C60Cl12(2), were isolated in experimentally useful yields. Structural characterization by crystallography unambiguously established the unique pentagon-pentagon ring fusions. These distinct structural features are directly responsible for the regioselectivity observed in subsequent substitution of chlorines, and also render these unprecedented derivatives of C60 isomers important for resolving the long-standing puzzle of fullerene formation by the Stone-Wales transformation scheme8-11.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)790-794
Number of pages5
JournalNature materials
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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