New Phases of C60 Synthesized at High Pressure

Science  10 Jun 1994:
Vol. 264, Issue 5165, pp. 1570-1572
DOI: 10.1126/science.264.5165.1570


The fullerene C60 can be converted into two different structures by high pressure and temperature. They are metastable and revert to pristine C60 on reheating to 300°C at ambient pressure. For synthesis temperatures between 300° and 400°C and pressures of 5 gigapascals, a nominal face-centered-cubic structure is produced with a lattice parameter ao = 13.6 angstroms. When treated at 500° to 800°C at the same pressure, C60 transforms into a rhombohedral structure with hexagonal lattice parameters of ao = 9.22 angstroms and co = 24.6 angstroms. The intermolecular distance is small enough that a chemical bond can form, in accord with the reduced solubility of the pressure-induced phases. Infrared, Raman, and nuclear magnetic resonance studies show a drastic reduction of icosahedral symmetry, as might occur if the C60 molecules are linked.