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X-ray Structures of Sc2C2@C2n (n = 40–42): In-Depth Understanding of the Core–Shell Interplay in Carbide Cluster Metallofullerenes

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posted on 02.01.2012, 00:00 by Hiroki Kurihara, Xing Lu, Yuko Iiduka, Hidefumi Nikawa, Makoto Hachiya, Naomi Mizorogi, Zdenek Slanina, Takahiro Tsuchiya, Shigeru Nagase, Takeshi Akasaka
X-ray analyses of the cocrystals of a series of carbide cluster metallofullerenes Sc2C2@C2n (n = 40–42) with cobalt­(II) octaethylporphyrin present new insights into the molecular structures and cluster–cage interactions of these less-explored species. Along with the unambiguous identification of the cage structures for the three isomers of Sc2C2@C2v(5)-C80, Sc2C2@C3v(8)-C82, and Sc2C2@D2d(23)-C84, a clear correlation between the cluster strain and cage size is observed in this series: Sc–Sc distances and dihedral angles of the bent cluster increase along with cage expansion, indicating that the bending strain within the cluster makes it pursue a planar structure to the greatest degree possible. However, the C–C distances within Sc2C2 remain unchanged when the cage expands, perhaps because of the unusual bent structure of the cluster, preventing contact between the cage and the C2 unit. Moreover, analyses revealed that larger cages provide more space for the cluster to rotate. The preferential formation of cluster endohedral metallofullerenes for scandium might be associated with its small ionic radius and the strong coordination ability as well.