Enhanced π-π interactions between a C60 fullerene and a buckle bend on a double-walled carbon nanotube

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In situ low-voltage aberration corrected transmission electron microscopy (TEM) observations of the dynamic entrapment of a C60 molecule in the saddle of a bent double-walled carbon nanotube is presented. The fullerene interaction is non-covalent, suggesting that enhanced π-π interactions (van der Waals forces) are responsible. Classical molecular dynamics calculations confirm that the increased interaction area associated with a buckle is sufficient to trap a fullerene. Moreover, they show hopping behavior in agreement with our experimental observations. Our findings further our understanding of carbon nanostructure interactions, which are important in the rapidly developing field of low-voltage aberration corrected TEM and nano-carbon device fabrication.


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Correspondence to Mark H. Rümmeli.

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Gorantla, S., Avdoshenko, S., Börrnert, F. et al. Enhanced π-π interactions between a C60 fullerene and a buckle bend on a double-walled carbon nanotube. Nano Res. 3, 92–97 (2010).

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  • Carbon nanotubes
  • fullerenes
  • low-voltage transmission electron microscopy
  • molecule trap