Extraction and STM Imaging of Spherical Giant Fullerenes

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Science  13 Mar 1992:
Vol. 255, Issue 5050, pp. 1413-1416
DOI: 10.1126/science.255.5050.1413


High-temperature, high-pressure extracts of soot produced by the Krätschmer-Huffman technique (KH carbon) were characterized by mass spectrometry and imaging with scanning tunneling microscopes (STMs). The mass spectra of these samples are similar to those of ambient-pressure, high-boiling-point solvent extractions, supporting the idea that solvent temperature and possibly pressure are key parameters in extraction of the giant fuilerenes. The STM images show that the giant fullerenes in these samples are roughly spherical in shape and range in diameter from approximately 1 to 2 nanometers, corresponding to fullerenes containing 60 to 330 atoms. No evidence of bucky tubes was found.