Inelastic Neutron Scattering of endofullerenes
Fullerenes are a remarkable range of materials consisting of closed symmetrical cages, entirely composed of carbon atoms. It is possible to trap small molecules inside the cages by chemical means. Substances with molecules trapped inside the fullerene cage are called endofullerenes. Each encapsulated molecule behaves as a "particle in a box" according to the laws of quantum mechanics. Furthermore, if the molecules contain nuclear or electron spins, then these spins may interact with the quantized motion of the molecules in the cages in an interesting way. In some circumstances, this interaction leads to greatly enhanced nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) signals, leading to potential applications in materials science and clinical medicine. But this is also of fundamental interest, since determining the potential energy surface will help describe these non-bonded interactions and make DFT methods more accurate.