A new approach for the synthesis of graphite intercalation compounds (GICs), by the help of co-intercalant molecules, has been observed. In the present work, we demonstrate the successful incorporation of fullerene (C 60) molecules between the graphene sheets aided by the preceding intercalation of nitric acid. The presence of intercalated C60 between the graphene sheets is deduced from X-ray diffraction patterns, while Raman and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), verify that the quality of the graphene layers is not compromised by the intercalation. A quantification of the interaction yield was derived from thermogravimetric analysis and XPS studies, giving that fullerene molecules intercalated in the pillared structure amount to about 25 wt%. The present method opens new perspectives for the intercalation of various guest molecules in graphite also because graphite nitrate allows for functionalization processes following the very well established carbon chemistry. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.