The fullerene road to C60 must proceed through isomers which do not obey the Isolated Pentagon Rule (IPR). Stone Wales (SW) transformations are required to redistribute the pentagons to obtain the almost exclusively observed IPR icosahedral C60. We find a very high barrier for these transformations (over 6 eV), which make their occurrence rare during the annealing phase of C60 formation. Earlier we reported that the presence of a loosely bound single carbon atom reduces this barrier to 3.9 eV, making frequent pentagon rearrangements possible. Here we review this process and show how carbon atoms bind preferentially to paired pentagon regions, diffuse easily and exchange with C60 host atoms.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We acknowledge support from the UK