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Conducting films of C60 and C70 by alkali-metal doping


THE recent syntheses1,2 of macroscopic quantities of C60 have suggested possible applications in host–guest and organic chemistry, tribology, electrochemistry and semiconductor tech-nology. Here we report the preparation of alkali-metal-doped films of C60 and C70 which have electrical conductivities at room temperature that are comparable to those attained by n-type doped polyacetylene. The highest conductivities observed in the doped films are: 4Scm−1 (Cs/C60), 100 (Rb/C60), 500 (K/C60), 20 (Na/C60), 10 (Li/C60), 2 (K/C70). The doping process is reversed on exposure of the films to the atmosphere. At high doping levels, the films become more resistive. We attribute the conductivity induced in these films to the formation of energy bands from the π orbitals of C60 or C70, which become partially filled with carriers on doping. The smaller alkali metal ions should be able to fit into the interstices in the lattice without disrupting the network of contacts between the carbon spheroids. In the case of C60, this would allow the development of an isotropic band structure, and we therefore propose that these materials may constitute the first three-dimensional 'organic' conductors.

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Haddon, R., Hebard, A., Rosseinsky, M. et al. Conducting films of C60 and C70 by alkali-metal doping. Nature 350, 320–322 (1991).

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