Synthesis, purification, characterization and functionalization of endohedral fullerenes and their derivatives for quantum nano-electronic applications. Fullerenes are a new class of carbon-based materials. Due to their unusual molecular structure, fullerenes have been shown to possess attractive chemical, physical, magnetic, and electronic properties and are finding an increasing number of applications. Perhaps the most interesting feature of the fullerenes is that due to their cage-like structure they can trap atoms inside their empty "shell". The first of the so-called endohedral fullerenes were lanthanum containing fullerene cages, produced by vaporisation of lanthanum-doped graphite rods. To date, group-3 metals (Sc, Y), lanthanides (Ce, Gd, Pr, Ho, etc), group-2 metals (Ca, Sr, Ba), group-15 elements (N, P) and noble gases (He, Ne, Ar, Kr and Xe) have all been encapsulated in fullerenes.