STU BORMAN, C&EN WASHINGTON
In a study that could bring medical applications of fullerenes closer to reality, Harry C. Dorn and coworkers at Virginia Tech synthesized and characterized the first organic derivative of a C80 metallofullerene [J. Am. Chem. Soc., 124, 524 (2002); C&EN, Jan. 28, page 15]. Such structures are potentially water-soluble, suggesting they may be useful as contrast agents, tracers, and even anticancer agents.
C60 has been accessible only by uncontrolled graphite vaporization. Lawrence T. Scott of Boston College and colleagues developed the first rational route--consisting almost entirely of classical organic transformations, with a final pyrolysis step [Science, 295, 1500 (2002); C&EN, Feb. 25, page 7].
Eiichi Nakamura of the University of Tokyo and coworkers prepared "bucky ferrocenes," molecular hybrids of fullerenes and ferrocenes [J. Am. Chem. Soc., 124, 9354 (2002); C&EN, Aug. 5, page 8]. The hybrids could be useful in controlled drug release or to make nanostructures with tailored electronic or photonic properties. An important development in the fullerene field this year, Nakamura says, is that "C60 has become very cheap" as a result of scale-ups in commercial fullerene production.
|FISHY FULLERENE Metallofullerenes made by Dorn's group are water soluble, suggesting potential medical applications.
||BUCKY FERROCENE Nakamura's group synthesized fullerene-ferrocene hybrids, such as this ferrocene-C60.
COURTESY OF Y. MATSUO, E. NAKAMURA, & M. SAWAMURA