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A water-soluble polyhydroxylated fullerene, i.e., a fullerenol, with 44 hydroxyl groups and 8 secondary bound water molecules, C60(OH)44·8H2O (estimated average structure), has been synthesized in a facile one step reaction from pristine C60 by hydroxylation with hydrogen peroxide in the presence of a phase-transfer catalyst, tetra-n -butylammonium hydroxide (TBAH), under organic/aqueous bilayer conditions. The fullerenol exhibited high water solubility, up to 64.9 mg/mL, under neutral (pH = 7) conditions. Dynamic light-scattering (DLS) analysis showed a narrow particle size distribution, of 1–2 nm, indicating that the fullerenol had high dispersion properties in water. The results of particle size analyses, which both focused on a single nanoregion and were conducted using a novel induced grating (IG) method and a scanning probe microscope (SPM), were consistent with the DLS results. A plausible reaction mechanism, which includes fullerene oxide intermediates detected by liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC–MS), has been proposed.

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Publication history

Received: 08 October 2010
Revised: 01 November 2010
Accepted: 01 November 2010
Published: 01 February 2011
Issue date: February 2011

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© Tsinghua University Press and Springer-Verlag 2010

Acknowledgements

Acknowledgements

The authors thank Shimadzu Corp. for the SPM measurements. This study was supported by the Industrial Technology Research Grant Program in 2006–2008 from the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) of Japan.

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Reprints and Permission requests may be sought directly from editorial office.
Email: nanores@tup.tsinghua.edu.cn

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