National Research Centre ‘Kurchatov Institute’, pl. akad. Kurchatova 1, Moscow, 123182, Russian Federation
A review is presented of the current knowledge of endohedral structures — fullerene molecules and carbon nanotubes with one or more atoms inside. Methods of synthesis and exploration of such structures are considered and the results obtained are discussed. The charge state and the geometrical position of atoms encapsulated inside the fullerene molecules and the chemical properties of the resulting endohedral compounds are analyzed. The recent development of methods for producing macroscopic quantities of such molecules in a pure form has resulted in the formation of a new area of research aimed at the determination of the characteristics and physical and chemical properties of matter consisting of endohedral fullerene molecules. The results of such investigations and prospects for further development in this field are analyzed.