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Issue 7, 1997
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[60]Fullerene chemistry for materials science applications


Since their first detection and bulk production, the fullerenes have gained a primary role on the scientific scene, reaching their climax when the 1996 Nobel Prize for Chemistry was awarded to Kroto, Curl and Smalley for their seminal discovery. The unique physical and chemical properties of these new forms of carbon led many scientists to predict several technological applications. This created a heavy disappointment when it was clear that fullerene-based materials would not soon be ready for the market. However, the fullerenes have so far delighted several dozens of researchers who found that C 60 and its relatives undergo a variety of chemical reactions. In most cases, the new derivatives retain the main properties of the original fullerene, and it is now not unlikely that some functionalized fullerenes may find useful applications in the field of materials science and technology. In this Article we summarize the basic principles of the organic chemistry of fullerenes, together with a description of the physicochemical properties that have made these carbon cages popular in materials science, and review the most recent achievements in the functionalization of fullerenes aimed at the production of new molecular materials.

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J. Mater. Chem., 1997,7, 1097-1109
Article type

[60]Fullerene chemistry for materials science applications

M. Prato, J. Mater. Chem., 1997, 7, 1097
DOI: 10.1039/A700080D

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