Andrew Crowther headshot


On January 4, 2023, Andrew Crowther, associate professor of chemistry, alongside colleagues including Elena Meirzadeh, a postdoctoral researcher in Professor Xavier Roy's group in the Columbia University Department of Chemistry, and Barnard student Mahniz Reza ’23, published a new article in Nature, one of the world’s most influential journals for basic scientific research. In the paper, “A few-layer covalent network of fullerenes,” they introduce graphullerene, a two-dimensional crystalline polymer of fullerenes (C60) that occupies a space between molecular and extended carbon materials and is composed of hexagonally arranged and covalently connected fullerene subunits. Graphullerene thus combines the structural features of molecular fullerenes and two-dimensional graphene.

For this study, which was spearheaded by Columbia, Crowther and his group measured the Raman spectra of Meirzadeh’s graphullerene samples, and their results supported the formation of polymerized fullerene networks. More broadly, creating extended carbon materials by polymerization of molecular precursors enables the systematic design of two-dimensional heterostructures with tunable optoelectronic properties.