Fullerene-based one-dimensional crystalline nanopolymer formed through topochemical transformation of the parent nanowire
Physical Review B
Large-scale practical applications of fullerene (C60) in nanodevices could be significantly facilitated ifthe commercially available micrometer-scale raw C60 powder were further processed into a one-dimensional nanowire-relatedpolymer displaying covalent bonding as molecular interlinks and resembling traditional important conjugated polymers. Howeverthere has been little study thus far in this area despite the abundant literature on fullerene. Here we report the preparationand characterization of such a C60-based polymer nanowire, (-C60TMB-)n, where TMB=1,2,4-trimethylbenzene, which displays awell-defined crystalline nanostructure, exceptionally large length-to-width ratio and excellent thermal stability.The material is prepared by first growing the corresponding nanowire through a solution phase of C60 followed by a topochemical polymerization reaction in the solid state. Gas chromatography, mass spectrometry and 13C nuclear magnetic resonance evidence is provided for the nature of the covalent bonding mode adopted by the polymeric chains. Theoretical analysis based on detailed calculations of the reaction energetics and structural analysis provides an in-depth understanding of the polymerization pathway. The nanopolymer promises important applications in biological fields and in the development of optical, electrical, and magnetic nanodevices.