PRODUCTION OF ENDOHEDRAL METALLOFULLERENES

Period of Performance: 01/01/1997 - 12/31/1997

$300K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

TDA Research, Inc.
12345 W. 52nd Ave. Array
Wheat Ridge, CO 80033
Principal Investigator

Abstract

ENDOHEDRAL METALLOFULLERENES (CLOSED SHELL CARBON MOLECULES CONTAINING ONE OR MORE METAL ATOMS WITHIN THE CAGE) HAVE BEEN SYNTHESIZED BY THE GRAPHITE ARC PROCESS FOR OVER A YEAR. WHILE THERE IS SPECULATION THEY ARE HIGH TEMPERATURE SUPERCONDUCTORS AND HAVE UNIQUE ELECTRONIC PROPERTIES, THERE IS LITTLE DATA ON THEIR CHEMICAL OR ELECTRONIC PROPERTIES. THIS IS A DIRECT RESULT OF THE FACT THAT THE CURRENT PROCESS PRODUCES EXTREMELY SMALL QUANTITIES OF THE MATERIALS. THUS, THERE ARE GOOD SCIENTIFIC AND COMMERCIAL REASONS TO DEVELOP A COMMERCIAL SCALE PROCESS FOR PRODUCING ENDOHEDRAL METALLOFULLERENES. RESEARCHERS ARE USING A CONTINUOUS PLASMA PYROLYSIS PROCESS, STARTING FROM LIQUID AND GAS PHASE HYDROCARBON AND METALLIC PRECURSORS. PREVIOUS EXPERIMENTAL WORK SUGGESTS THAT THIS PROCESS SHOULD PRODUCE LARGE YIELDS AND QUANTITIES OF THESE NOVEL MATERIALS. THE PLASMA SYNTHESIS OF METALLOFULLERENES, AND SEPARATION AND CHARACTERIZATION OF THE RESULTING MATERIALS ARE DEMONSTRATED.