Structural phase transitions in the fullerene C60

W. I. David, R. M. Ibberson, T. J. Dennis, J. P. Hare, K. Prassides

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

623 Citations (Scopus)


High-resolution powder neutron diffraction has been used to study the crystal structure of the fullerene C60 in the temperature range 5 K to 320 K. Solid C60 adopts a cubic structure at all temperatures. The experimental data provide clear evidence of a continuous phase transition at ca. 90 K and confirm the existence of a first-order phase transition at 260 K. In the high-temperature face-centred-cubic phase (T > 260 K), the C60 molecules are completely orientationally disordered, undergoing continuous reorientation. Below 260 K, interpretation of the diffraction data is consistent with uniaxial jump reorientation principally about a single (111) direction. In the lowest-temperature phase (T < 90 K), rotational motion is frozen although a small amount of static disorder still persists.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-225
Number of pages7
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1992 Feb 21

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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