Fullerenes as Neutral Carbon-Based Lewis Acids


  • Generous financial support from the Fonds der Chemischen Industrie and the European Research Council (ERC Starting grant agreement no. 277963) is gratefully acknowledged.


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Lewis adducts between N-heterocyclic carbenes and fullerenes have been isolated and their structures confirmed by X-ray crystallography. This work shows that simple fullerenes such as C60 or C70 can act as Lewis acids. This result not only opens new perspectives in fullerene chemistry but might also have strong implications in emerging fields such as the metal-free activation of small molecules.