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Title: Fullertubes: Cylindrical Carbon with Half-Fullerene End-Caps and Tubular Graphene Belts, Their Chemical Enrichment, Crystallography of Pristine C 90 - D 5h (1) and C 100 - D 5d (1) Fullertubes, and Isolation of C 108 , C 120 , C 132 , and C 156 Cages of Unknown Structures
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Author(s) / Creator(s):
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Date Published:
Journal Name:
Journal of the American Chemical Society
Page Range / eLocation ID:
15614 to 15623
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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  1. We report the first experimental characterization of isomerically pure and pristine C120 fullertubes, [5,5] C120-D5d(1) and [10,0] C120-D5h(10766). These new molecules represent the highest aspect ratio fullertubes isolated to date; for example, the prior largest empty cage fullertube was [5,5] C100-D5d(1). This increase of 20 carbon atoms represents a gigantic leap in comparison to three decades of C60–C90 fullerene research. Moreover, the [10,0] C120-D5d(10766) fullertube has an end-cap derived from C80-Ih and is a new fullertube whose C40 end-cap has not yet been isolated experimentally. Theoretical and experimental analyses of anisotropic polarizability and UV–vis assign C120 isomer I as a [5,5] C120-D5d(1) fullertube. C120 isomer II matches a [10,0] C120-D5h(10766) fullertube. These structural assignments are further supported by Raman data showing metallic character for [5,5] C120-D5d(1) and nonmetallic character for C120-D5h(10766). STM imaging reveals a tubular structure with an aspect ratio consistent with a [5,5] C120-D5d(1) fullertube. With microgram quantities not amenable to crystallography, we demonstrate that DFT anisotropic polarizability, augmented by long-accepted experimental analyses (HPLC retention time, UV–vis, Raman, and STM) can be synergistically used (with DFT) to down select, predict, and assign C120 fullertube candidate structures. From 10 774 mathematically possible IPR C120 structures, this anisotropic polarizability paradigm is quite favorable to distinguish tubular structures from carbon soot. Identification of isomers I and II was surprisingly facile, i.e., two purified isomers for two possible structures of widely distinguishing features. These metallic and nonmetallic C120 fullertube isomers open the door to both fundamental research and application development. 
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  2. We report the seminal experimental isolation and DFT characterization of pristine [5,5] C130-D5h(1) fullertubes. This achievement represents the largest soluble carbon molecule obtained in pristine form. The [5,5] C130 species is the highest aspect ratio fullertube purified to date and now surpasses the recent gigantic [5,5] C120-D5d(1). In contrast to C90, C100, and C120 fullertubes, the longer C130-D5h has more nanotubular carbons (70) than end-cap fullerenyl atoms (60). Starting from 39,393 possible C130 isolated pentagon rule (IPR) structures and after analyzing polarizability, retention time, and UV-vis spectra, these three layers of data remarkably predict a single candidate isomer and fullertube, [5,5] C130-D5h(1). This structural assignment is augmented by atomic resolution STEM data showing distinctive and tubular “pill-like” structures with diameters and aspect ratios consistent with [5,5] C130-D5h(1) fullertubes. The high selectivity of the aminopropanol reaction with spheroidal fullerenes permits a facile separation and removal of fullertubes from soot extracts. Experimental analyses (HPLC retention time, UV-vis, and STEM) were synergistically used (with polarizability and DFT property calculations) to down select and confirm the C130 fullertube structure. Achieving the isolation of a new [5,5] C130-D5h fullertube opens the door to application development and fundamental studies of electron confinement, fluorescence, and metallic character for a fullertube series of molecules with systematic tubular elongation. This [5,5] fullertube family also invites comparative studies with single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs), nanohorns (SWCNHs), and fullerenes. 
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