Open Access Nano Express

Boron Fullerenes: A First-Principles Study

Nevill Gonzalez Szwacki

Author Affiliations

Physics Department, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX, 79409-1051, USA

Nanoscale Research Letters 2007, 3:49-54  doi:10.1007/s11671-007-9113-1

Published: 15 December 2007

Abstract

A family of unusually stable boron cages was identified and examined using first-principles local-density functional method. The structure of the fullerenes is similar to that of the B12icosahedron and consists of six crossing double-rings. The energetically most stable fullerene is made up of 180 boron atoms. A connection between the fullerene family and its precursors, boron sheets, is made. We show that the most stable boron sheets are not necessarily precursors of very stable boron cages. Our finding is a step forward in the understanding of the structure of the recently produced boron nanotubes.

Keywords:
Boron clusters; Boron fullerenes and nanotubes; Boron sheets; Quantum-mechanical modeling