Synthesis of Alkyl Sulfonated Fullerenes Without Catalyst: Improved Water Solubility by the Sulfonate Groups

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Two new alkyl sulfonated fullerene (C60) derivatives C60(O)14(OH)4(OCH2CH2CH2SO3Na)5 (2), C60(O)15(OSO3Na)5(OCH2CH2CH2SO3Na)6(4) with high water-solubility were synthesized by different routes. One derivative (4) was facilely synthesized from a sulfonated C60 derivative C60(O)11(OH)4(OSO3Na)8(3) in aqueous phase without the addition of any catalyst and has the highest water solubility (118 mg/mL) and smallest aggregation size (49.2 nm) in neutral aqueous solution (0.1 wt%). Derivative 2 was synthesized from fullerenol C60(O)8(OH)13(1) directly in DMF affording enhanced water solubility compared to 1. The estimated average molecular formulae of these new alkyl sulfonated C60 derivatives were determined by XPS spectroscopy and confirmed by FTIR and 1H NMR spectroscopies. The measured water solubility of the sulfonated C60 derivatives follows the order of 3 < 2 < 4, suggesting that the larger number of functional groups is directly correlated to the higher water solubility, and the sulfonate groups can improve the water solubility greatly. The aggregation size of 24 measured by dynamic light scattering (DLS) is all smaller than that of fullerenol 1, indicating that more functional groups result in the improvement of the dispersion of fullerenol in water. ESR study indicates that 24 have the ability to produce stable radicals, and the intensity of the ESR signal decreases evidently with the increase of the number of functional groups from 3 to 2 to 4.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: November 1, 2011

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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