Scandium Clusters in Fullerene Cages

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Science  22 May 1992:
Vol. 256, Issue 5060, pp. 1191-1192
DOI: 10.1126/science.256.5060.1191


The production and spectroscopic characterization of fullerene-encapsulated metal-atom clusters is reported. In particular, both solution and solid-state electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectra of Sc3C82 have been obtained. ScC82 also gives an EPR spectrum, but Sc2Cn species—the most abundant metallofullerenes in the mass spectrum—are EPR-silent even though Sc2 is EPR-active in a rare-gas matrix at 4.2 K. The results suggest that the three scandium atoms in Sc3C82 form an equilateral triangle—as was previously suggested for Sc3 molecules isolated in a cryogenic rare-gas matrix. The spectrum of ScC82 has features similar to those found earlier for LaC82 and YC82, suggesting that it can also be described as a +3 metal cation within a -3 fullerene radical anion. An implication of this work is that production of macroscopic quantities of clustercontaining fullerenes may make possible the fabrication of exotic new structures with regular arrays of metal-atom clusters isolated in fullerene molecules, resulting in a new type of host/guest nanostructured material.