Tuning Molecular Solids

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Science  12 Jul 2013:
Vol. 341, Issue 6142, pp. 135-136
DOI: 10.1126/science.1240813

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Molecular clusters can behave in a way similar to elemental atoms, for example forming solid assemblies with the same structures as rock salt (see the figure), cesium chloride, or molecular perovskites. On page 157 of this issue, Roy et al. (1) report molecular binary solids that are expanded analogs of rock salt or cadmium iodide, with inorganic clusters and C60 occupying the atomic sites. The use of two different molecular clusters, one of which is electron-poor, the other electron-rich, distinguishes the work from earlier studies (2, 3). Modification of the outer ligands on the components may allow the electronic properties of the material to be changed while maintaining the overall structure.