Controlling the growth of fullerene C60 cones under continuous flow†
Micromixing of an o-xylene solution of C60 with N-N-dimethylformamide (DMF) at room temperature under continuous flow in a vortex fluidic device (VFD) results in the formation of symmetrical right cones in high yield with diameters 0.5 to 2.5 μm, pitch angle 25° to 55° and wall thickness 120 to 310 nm. Their formation is in the absence of surfactants and any other reagents, and is scalable. The cones are formed at specific operating parameters of the VFD, including rotational speed, flow rate and concentration, and varying these results in other structures such as grooved fractals. Other aromatic solvents in place of o-xylene results in the formation of rods, spicules and prisms, respectively for m-xylene, p-xylene and mesitylene.