Visualization of molecular soccer balls

(University of Tsukuba) Researchers led by the University of Tsukuba imaged lithium ion-doped fullerene, which resembles a molecular soccer ball, by scanning tunneling microscopy. The microscopy images of the single lithium ion-doped fullerene molecules and corresponding density functional theory calculations allowed the electronic structure of lithium ion-doped fullerene to be comprehensively determined. Such knowledge of the electronic structure of fullerenes is important for optimizing their performance in advanced electronics and switching devices.