A Single Molecule of Water Encapsulated in Fullerene C60

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Science  29 Jul 2011:
Vol. 333, Issue 6042, pp. 613-616
DOI: 10.1126/science.1206376

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Water normally exists in hydrogen-bonded environments, but a single molecule of H2O without any hydrogen bonds can be completely isolated within the confined subnano space inside fullerene C60. We isolated bulk quantities of such a molecule by first synthesizing an open-cage C60 derivative whose opening can be enlarged in situ at 120°C that quantitatively encapsulated one water molecule under the high-pressure conditions. The relatively simple method was developed to close the cage and encapsulate water. The structure of H2O@C60 was determined by single-crystal x-ray analysis, along with its physical and spectroscopic properties.

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