Atom-cage charge transfer in endohedral metallofullerenes: Trapping atoms within a sphere-like ridge of avoided crossings

Oksana Tishchenko, Donald G. Truhlar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Endohedral fullerences have great potential for a variety of techological applications. Here we consider B@C60 and show that the amount of charge transfer from the semimetal boron atom to the cage is a strong function of the radial distance of the atom from the center of the fullerene, and it is controlled by multistate conical intersections whose associated ridge of avoided crossings has the topology of a Euclidean sphere. The potential energy surfaces of B@C60 are characterized by two kinds of local minima: those with a boron atom located in the geometric center of the fullerene, and those with a boron atom bound to the fullerene inner wall. At the lowest-energy minimum, at the center, the boron atom is neutral, whereas the transition to the wall is accompanied by an electron transfer from boron to the fullerene cage. The two kinds of minima are separated by a ridge of avoided crossings that forms a surface with a nearly spherical shape. The properties of such systems may be altered by controlling the populations of the two kinds of minima, for example, by application of an external field. Such switchable atom-cage charge transfer may find applications in novel molecular devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)422-425
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry Letters
Volume4
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 7 2013

Keywords

  • conical intersection
  • functional molecules
  • molecular switching
  • photochemistry

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