Isomeric Sc2O@C78 Related by a Single-Step Stone-Wales Transformation: Key Links in an Unprecedented Fullerene Formation Pathway

Yajuan Hao, Qiangqiang Tang, Xiaohong Li, Meirong Zhang, Yingbo Wan, Lai Feng, Ning Chen, Zdeněk Slanina, Ludwik Adamowicz, Filip Uhlík

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


It has been proposed that the fullerene formation mechanism involves either a top-down or bottom-up pathway. Despite different starting points, both mechanisms approve that particular fullerenes or metallofullerenes are formed through a consecutive stepwise process involving Stone-Wales transformations (SWTs) and C2 losses or additions. However, the formation pathway has seldomly been defined at the atomic level due to the missing-link fullerenes. Herein, we present the isolation and crystallographic characterization of two isomeric clusterfullerenes Sc2O@C2v(3)-C78 and Sc2O@D3h(5)-C78, which are closely related via a single-step Stone-Wales (SW) transformation. More importantly, these novel Sc2O@C78 isomers represent the key links in a well-defined formation pathway for the majority of solvent-extractable clusterfullerenes Sc2O@C2n (n = 38-41), providing molecular structural evidence for the less confirmed fullerene formation mechanism. Furthermore, DFT calculations reveal a SWT with a notably low activation barrier for these Sc2O@C78 isomers, which may rationalize the established fullerene formation pathway. Additional characterizations demonstrate that these Sc2O@C78 isomers feature different energy bandgaps and electrochemical behaviors, indicating the impact of SW defects on the energetic and electrochemical characteristics of metallofullerenes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11354-11361
Number of pages8
JournalInorganic Chemistry
Issue number21
StatePublished - Nov 7 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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