Exploration in metallic nitride fullerenes and oxometallic fullerenes: A new class of metallofullerenes

Mary Alice Mackey

Abstract

Research groups around the world have taken an interest in the synthesis, purification, characterization, and functionalization of Metallic Nitride Fullerenes (MNFs) since their discovery in 1999. This dissertation details the discovery of another new class of molecules--Oxometallic Fullerenes (OMFs). There are many groups worldwide doing research on MNFs, and there is a large database of published MNF research, but we have had a unique opportunity to fill a research void on OMFs as at present no one else is doing research on these molecules; herein we take molecules that we discover and perform seminal research relating to them. MNF research is closely tied to this project; MNFs are a stepping stone because of their greater abundance and similar reactivity. Building off of previously developed techniques, we are able to create new methods for the separation and isolation of MNFs and OMFs. We studied the reactivity differences of various MNFs and OMFs in order to utilize Lewis acid chemistry as a tool for the enrichment and purification of both MNFs and OMFs, eventually resulting in a detailed separations technique. We have also begun studies to functionalize the carbon cage of endohedral metallofullerenes--this research includes using Lewis acids and various aromatic solvents via Friedel-Crafts reactions.