A solid-liquid two-phase precipitation method for the growth of fullerene (C60) nanowires

Xiao Fan, Junfeng Geng, Navneet Soin, Supriya Chakrabarti, Somak Mitra, Iman Roqan, Hua Li, Mustapha Babatunde, Andy Baldwin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A novel solid-liquid two-phase precipitation (SLTPP) method, utilising a solidified (via liquid N2) m-xylene solution of C60 with
liquid isopropanol (IPA) as the counter-solvent, is proposed for the synthesis of fullerene (C60) nanowires. The resulting C60
nanowires were observed to possess high crystallinity, a length-to-diameter ratio of up to several thousand with a diameter
as small as ~ 85 nm. We further systematically investigated the effects of C60 concentration (1 − 5.2 mg/ml) and solvent −
counter-solvent ratio (1:6 − 2:1) to optimise the growth conditions for high-quality, size-controlled C60 nanowires. A
comparative study against the widely-used liquid-liquid interfacial precipitation (LLIP) method showed that the proposed
SLTPP method led to a much narrower diameter distribution (414.20 ± 92.10 nm vs. 3237.20 ± 1790.30 nm for LLIP) across
the studied range of C60 concentration and solvent − counter-solvent ratio, and is therefore considered to be a more stable
and reliable synthesis route. We propose that the gradual melting of the m-xylene C60 solid-phase leads to a slower diffusion
of the solvent – counter-solvent medium, providing a much more stable interface for high-quality crystal growth.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6340-6348
Number of pages9
Early online date27 Jul 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 27 Jul 2021


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