We show using ab initio electronic structure calculations that the dodecahedral fullerene of silicon Si 20 is stabilized by thorium encapsulation. Thorium is found to be the only element in the Periodic Table that stabilizes this fullerene with icosahedral symmetry in the neutral state. The preference for sp 3 bonding in silicon makes it an optimal cage with all pentagonal faces in contrast to carbon for which C 20 is difficult to stabilize. Similar to C 60, this is the highest symmetry cluster of silicon and should be abundant. It could lead to the possibilities of novel new phases and derivatives of silicon.
|Journal||Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics|
|Publication status||Published - 2005 Mar 15|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics