Thermal decomposition of a fullerene mix
Experiments to characterize fullerene decomposition at temperatures above 973 K were conducted by spectroscopic analysis of samples heated in vacuo. The thermal decomposition can be described by first-order kinetics with an activation energy of 266±9 kJ/mol and a preexponential factor of 1.24×10^(9) s^-1. Though scanning electron micrographs display structures with a distinctly faceted appearance, x-ray diffraction, Raman spectroscopy, and transmission-electron microscopy all show that the material is composed of amorphous carbon and graphite, indicating that pyrolysis of the fullerite occurs without destroying crystal facets.
©1995 The American Physical Society. Received 23 November 1994. The authors thank Reynold Johnson of the California Institute of Technology for his help with sample preparation, Louis Troilo of the Naval Research Laboratory for performing the Raman spectroscopy, Jim Kulleck of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for performing the x-ray-diffraction analysis and SEM imaging, and Andre Yavrouian of JPL for valuable discussions. This work was supported by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Grant No. F49620-92-5-0453, and by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.