XJTU makes strides in researching C60
A graphic in the paper "Pentagon, Hexagon, or Bridge? Identifying the Location of a Single Vanadium Cation on Buckminsterfullerene Surface" published in the Journal of American Chemical Society 2023.
Buckminsterfullerene (C60) has received extensive research interest since its discovery. In addition to its intrinsic properties, such as its exceptional stability and electron-accepting ability, the broad chemical tunability by decoration or substitution on the C60-fullerene surface makes it a fascinating molecule.
However, there remains some uncertainty regarding the binding location of such decorations on the C60 surface, even for a single adsorbed metal atom.
A research team led by Professor Hou Gaolei from Xi'an Jiaotong University (XJTU), in collaboration with research institutions such as FELIX from the Netherlands and the University of Leuven from Belgium, has realized the gas-phase synthesis of the C60V+ complex and its in-situ characterization by mass spectrometry and infrared spectroscopy, with the help of quantum chemical calculations and molecular dynamics simulations.
The researchers have identified the most probable binding position of a vanadium cation on C60 above a pentagon center in an η5-fashion. They have also demonstrated a high thermal stability for this complex, and explored the bonding nature between C60 and the vanadium cation, revealing that large orbital and electrostatic interactions lie at the origin of the stability of the η5-C60V+ complex.
The research finding, titled "Pentagon, Hexagon, or Bridge? Identifying the Location of a Single Vanadium Cation on Buckminsterfullerene Surface," was recently published in the prestigious international journal, Journal of American Chemical Society 2023.
Professor Hou designed and led the research and is listed as the corresponding author of the paper, while doctoral student Xu Jianzhi is credited as the first author.