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Saturnene Revealed: X-ray Crystal Structure of D5d-C60F20 Formed in Reactions of C60 with AxMFy Fluorinating Agents (A=Alkali Metal; M=3d Metal)


  • This research was supported by the U.S. NSF (grant No. CHE-0707223), the Slovenian Research Agency (grant No. P1-0045, Inorganic Chemistry and Technology), and the Electrochemical Society (Fellowship to N.B.S.). ChemMatCARS Section 15 is principally supported by the U.S. NSF/U.S. DOE (grant No. CHE-0822838). Use of the Advanced Photon Source was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences (contract No. DE-AC02-06CH11357). A.A.P. thanks the Humboldt Foundation for support.


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Saturnene has four moons: Reactions of C60 with ternary metal fluorides yielded fluorofullerenes from C60F2 to C60F48, including elusive saturnene, C60F20, which has now been characterized by X-ray crystallography. Four benzene molecules “hover” over this D5d molecule at the corners of a square inscribed in the idealized body-centered-cubic unit cell (see structure; F yellow). The tight unit-cell packing explains the very low solubility of saturnene.

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