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  1. Considerable efforts are being made to find cheaper and more efficient alternatives to the currently commercially available catalysts based on precious metals for the Hydrogen Evolution Reaction (HER). In this context, fullerenes have started to gain attention due to their suitable electronic properties and relatively easy functionalization. We found that the covalent functionalization of C 60 , C 70 and Sc 3 N@ I h C 80 with diazonium salts endows the fullerene cages with ultra-active charge polarization centers, which are located near the carbon-diazonium bond and improve the efficiency towards the molecular generation of hydrogen. To support our findings, Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS), double layer capacitance ( C dl ) and Mott–Schottky approximation were performed. Among all the functionalized fullerenes, DPySc 3 N@ I h C 80 exhibited a very low onset potential (−0.025 V vs. RHE) value, which is due to the influence of the inner cluster on the extra improvement of the electronic density states of the catalytic sites. For the first time, the covalent assembly of fullerenes and diazonium groups was used as an electron polarization strategy to build superior molecular HER catalytic systems.
  2. Abstract The nature of the actinide-actinide bonds is of fundamental importance to understand the electronic structure of the 5 f elements. It has attracted considerable theoretical attention, but little is known experimentally as the synthesis of these chemical bonds remains extremely challenging. Herein, we report a strong covalent Th-Th bond formed between two rarely accessible Th 3+ ions, stabilized inside a fullerene cage nanocontainer as Th 2 @ I h (7)-C 80 . This compound is synthesized using the arc-discharge method and fully characterized using several techniques. The single-crystal X-Ray diffraction analysis determines that the two Th atoms are separated by 3.816 Å. Both experimental and quantum-chemical results show that the two Th atoms have formal charges of +3 and confirm the presence of a strong covalent Th-Th bond inside I h (7)-C 80 . Moreover, density functional theory and ab initio multireference calculations suggest that the overlap between the 7 s /6 d hybrid thorium orbitals is so large that the bond still exists at Th-Th separations larger than 6 Å. This work demonstrates the authenticity of covalent actinide metal-metal bonds in a stable compound and deepens our fundamental understanding of f element metal bonds.
  3. Dy-based single-molecule magnets (SMMs) are of great interest due to their ability to exhibit very large thermal barriers to relaxation and therefore high blocking temperatures. One interesting line of investigation is Dy-encapsulating endohedral clusterfullerenes, in which a carbon cage protects magnetic Dy 3+ ions against decoherence by environmental noise and allows for the stabilization of bonding and magnetic interactions that would be difficult to achieve in other molecular architectures. Recent studies of such materials have focused on clusters with two Dy atoms, since ferromagnetic exchange between Dy atoms is known to reduce the rate of magnetic relaxation via quantum tunneling. Here, two new dysprosium-containing mixed-metallic sulfide clusterfullerenes, DyScS@ C s (6)–C 82 and DyScS@ C 3v (8)–C 82 , have been successfully synthesized, isolated and characterized by mass spectrometry, Vis-NIR, cyclic voltammetry, single crystal X-ray diffractometry, and magnetic measurements. Crystallographic analyses show that the conformation of the encapsulated cluster inside the fullerene cages is notably different than in the Dy 2 X@ C s (6)–C 82 and Dy 2 X@ C 3v (8)–C 82 (X = S, O) analogues. Remarkably, both isomers of DyScS@C 82 show open magnetic hysteresis and slow magnetic relaxation, even at zero field. Their magnetic blockingmore »temperatures are around 7.3 K, which are among the highest values reported for clusterfullerene SMMs. The SMM properties of DyScS@C 82 far outperform those of the dilanthanide analogues Dy 2 S@C 82 , in contrast to the trend observed for carbide and nitride Dy clusterfullerenes.« less