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  1. Metal-fullerene compounds are characterized by significant electron transfer to the fullerene cage, giving rise to an electric dipole moment. We use the method of electrostatic beam deflection to verify whether such reactions take place within superfluid helium nanodroplets between an embedded C 60 molecule and either alkali (heliophobic) or rare-earth (heliophilic) atoms. The two cases lead to distinctly different outcomes: C 60 Na n ( n = 1–4) display no discernable dipole moment, while C 60 Yb is strongly polar. This suggests that the fullerene and small alkali clusters fail to form a charge-transfer bond in the helium matrix despitemore »their strong van der Waals attraction. The C 60 Yb dipole moment, on the other hand, is in agreement with the value expected for an ionic complex.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 4, 2023