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A Missing Link in the Cascade Formation of High Symmetry Fullerene Cages



Dan Bearden, Jianyuan Zhang, Harry C. Dorn


Before the discovery of graphene, many versions of a “bottom-up” fullerene formation mechanism had been advanced starting with carbide (C2) that forms small carbon cluster chains and rings. However, in recent years evidence is emerging suggesting a “top-down mechanism” that fullerenes are formed via shrinkage of giant fullerenes generated from graphene. Herein, we present the first molecular structural evidence for the top-down mechanism based on the metal carbide metallofullerene, M2C2@C1(51383)-C84 (M=Y,Gd). We suggest that this asymmetric molecule with destabilizing fused pentagons is a missing link in the cascade of fullerene formation. Furthermore, this unusual cage can undergo multiple loss of C2 via well established Stone-Wales transformations to form many well-known high-symmetry fullerene cages and provides an evolutionary pathway from graphene to various fullerene families.
Journal of the American Chemical Society


Fullerene, Archaeofullerene, NMR


Bearden, D. , Zhang, J. and Dorn, H. (2013), A Missing Link in the Cascade Formation of High Symmetry Fullerene Cages, Journal of the American Chemical Society, [online], (Accessed May 19, 2024)


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Created September 15, 2013, Updated January 27, 2020