Tremendous advances in nanoscience have been made since the discovery of fullerenes. However, the short timescale of the growth process and high-energy conditions of synthesis result in severe constraints to investigation of the mechanism of fullerene formation. Thus, the researchers attempted to reveal the formation process by analyzing the variation in the yield of fullerenes under different conditions. Recently, a research group from the Institute of Chemistry of Chinese Academy of Sciences (ICCAS), led by Prof. Wang Chunru, revealed the formation of fullerenes could be affected by the addition of polycyclic aromatic compounds. The work entitled “The Effect of the Polyaromatic Hydrocarbon in the Formation of Fullerenes” has been published in Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2020, 59, 3942–3947. Researchers adding five typical polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) during the preparation of the fullerenes, and studied the variation in the relative yields of fullerenes to infer the formation process by controlled experiments. Experiments and theoretical analysis proposed that the formation of C60 during arc-discharge synthesis is fragment assembling, while the yield of C2m (m=35, 38, 39) is strongly enhanced by building-block splicing. In addition, several features of the building blocks are put forward to predict the extent of their influence to the formation of larger fullerenes C2n (n≥42). This work not only provides essential insight into the formation process of fullerenes, but more importantly also paves the way to improving the yield of larger fullerenes selectively. This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, Beijing Natural Science Foundation, and the Youth Innovation Promotion Association of CAS.
The possible building blocks of fullerene. (Image by Prof. Wang Chunru)
Contact: Prof. Wang Chunru Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences Email: firstname.lastname@example.org