Synthesis of Inorganic Fullerene-Like Molecules

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Science  02 May 2003:
Vol. 300, Issue 5620, pp. 781-783
DOI: 10.1126/science.1081119

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The reaction of [Cp*Fe(η5-P5)] with Cu(I)Cl in solvent mixtures of CH2Cl2/CH3CN leads to the formation of entirely inorganic fullerene-like molecules of the formula [{Cp*Fe(η511111-P5)}12{CuCl}10{Cu2Cl3}5{Cu(CH3CN)2}5] (1) possessing 90 inorganic core atoms. This compound represents a structural motif similar to that of C60: cyclo-P5 rings of [Cp*Fe(η5-P5)] molecules are surrounded by six-membered P4Cu2 rings that result from the coordination of each of the phosphorus lone pairs to CuCl metal centers, which are further coordinated by P atoms of other cyclo-P5 rings. Thus, five- and six-membered rings alternate in a manner comparable to that observed in the fullerene molecules. The so-formed half shells are joined by [Cu2Cl3] as well as by [Cu(CH3CN)2]+ units. The spherical body has an inside diameter of 1.25 nanometers and an outside diameter of 2.13 nanometers, which is about three times as large as that of C60.

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