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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. 
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    The synthesis, characterization and incorporation of fullerene derivatives bearing primary, secondary and tertiary nitrogen atoms, which possess different basicities, in perovskite solar cells (PSCs), is reported. In this work, we tested the compounds as conventional electron transporting materials (ETMs) in a single layer with phenyl-C 61 -butyric acid methyl ester (PC 61 BM) as control. Additionally, we tested the idea of separating the ETM into two different layers: a thin electron extracting layer (EEL) at the interface with the perovskite, and an electron transporting layer (ETL) to transport the electrons to the Ag electrode. The compounds in this work were also tested as EELs with C 60 as ETL on top. Our results show that the new fullerenes perform better as EELs than as ETMs. A maximum power conversion efficiency (PCE) value of 18.88% was obtained for a device where a thin layer (∼3 nm) of BPy-C 60 was used as EEL, a higher value than that of the control device (16.70%) with only pure C 60 . Increasing the layer thicknesses led to dramatically decreased PCE values, clearly proving that the compound is an excellent electron extractor from the perovskite layer but a poor transporter as a bulk material. The improved passivation ability and electron extraction capabilities of the BPy-C 60 derivative were demonstrated by steady state and time-resolved photoluminescence (SS-and TRPL) as well as electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) and X-Ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) measurements; likely attributed to the enhanced basicity of the pyridine groups that contributes to a stronger interaction with the interfacial Pb 2+ . 
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  3. Although noble metal nanocatalysts show superior performance to conventional catalysts, they can be problematic when balancing catalytic efficiency and reusability. In order to address this dilemma, we developed a smart paper transformer (s-PAT) to support nanocatalysts, based on easy phase conversion between paper and pulp, for the first time. The pulp phase was used to maintain the high catalytic efficiency of the nanocatalysts and the transformation to paper enabled their high reusability. Herein, as an example of smart paper transformers, a novel chromatography paper-supported Au nanosponge (AuNS/pulp) catalyst was developed through a simple water-based preparation process for the successful reduction of p -nitrophenol to demonstrate the high catalytic efficiency and reusability of the noble metal nanocatalyst/pulp system. The composition, structure, and morphology of the AuNS/pulp catalyst were characterized by XRD, TGA, FE-SEM, ICP, TEM, FT-IR, and XPS. The AuNS/pulp catalyst was transformed into the pulp phase during the catalytic reaction and into the paper phase to recover the catalysts after use. Owing to this smart switching of physical morphology, the AuNS/pulp catalyst was dispersed more evenly in the solution. Therefore, it exhibited excellent catalytic performance for p -nitrophenol reduction. Under optimal conditions, the conversion rate of p -nitrophenol reached nearly 100% within 6 min and the k value of AuNS/pulp (0.0106 s −1 ) was more than twice that of a traditional chromatography paper-based catalyst (0.0048 s −1 ). Additionally, it exhibited outstanding reusability and could maintain its high catalytic efficiency even after fifteen recycling runs. Accordingly, the unique phase switching of this smart paper transformer enables Au nanosponge to transform into a highly efficient and cost-effective multifunctional catalyst. The paper transformer can support various nanocatalysts for a wide range of applications, thus providing a new insight into maintaining both high catalytic efficiency and reusability of nanocatalysts in the fields of environmental catalysis and nanomaterials. 
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  4. Light induced charge separation in a newly synthesized triphenylamine–thiophene-Sc 3 N@ I h -C 80 donor–acceptor conjugate and its C 60 analog, triphenylamine–thiophene-C 60 conjugate is reported, and the significance of the thiophene spacer in promoting electron transfer events is unraveled. 
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  5. Here, we report the synthesis and characterization of crystalline C 60 nanomaterials and their applications as bifunctional water splitting catalysts. The shapes of the resulting materials were tuned via a solvent engineering approach to form rhombic-shaped nanosheets and nanotubes with hexagonal close packed-crystal structures. The as-synthesized materials exhibited suitable properties as bifunctional catalysts for HER and ORR reactions surpassing by far the electrocatalytic activity of commercially available amorphous C 60 . The C 60 nanotubes displayed the most efficient catalytic performance with a small onset potential of −0.13 V vs. RHE and ultrahigh electrochemical stability properties towards the generation of molecular hydrogen. Additionally, the rotating-disk electrode measurements revealed that the oxygen reduction mechanism at the nanotube electrochemical surfaces followed an effective four-electron pathway. The improved catalytic activity was attributed to the enhanced local electric fields at the high curvature surfaces. 
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  8. In this work, two new C 70 isomers, α and β bis(2-(thiophen-2-yl)ethyl)-C 70 -fullerene mono-adducts (DTC 70 ), were synthesized, characterized and used as electron transporting materials (ETMs) in perovskite solar cells (PSCs). Our results show that the α isomer improves both the J sc and FF values of the devices, when compared to the results for the β-isomer and to those for phenyl-C 70 -butyric acid methyl ester ( PC71BM ), used as control. Devices based on α-DTC70 achieved a power conversion efficiency (PCE) of 15.9%, which is higher than that observed with PC71BM (15.1%). 
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  9. Abstract

    An emerging class of heterostructures with unprecedented (photo)electrocatalytic behavior, involving the combination of fullerenes and low‐dimensional (LD) nanohybrids, is currently expanding the field of energy materials. The unique physical and chemical properties of fullerenes have offered new opportunities to tailor both the electronic structures and the catalytic activities of the nanohybrid structures. Here, we comprehensively review the synthetic approaches to prepare fullerene‐based hybrids with LD (0D, 1D, and 2D) materials in addition to their resulting structural and catalytic properties. Recent advances in the design of fullerene‐based LD nanomaterials for (photo)electrocatalytic applications are emphasized. The fundamental relationship between the electronic structures and the catalytic functions of the heterostructures, including the role of the fullerenes, is addressed to provide an in‐depth understanding of these emerging materials at the molecular level.

     
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