The family of soluble fullerene derivatives comprises a widely studied group of electron transporting molecules for use in organic electronic and optoelectronic devices. For electronic applications, electron transporting (n-channel) materials are required for implementation into organic complementary logic circuit architectures. To date, few soluble candidate materials have been studied that fulfill the stringent requirements of high carrier mobility and air stability. Here we present a study of three soluble fullerenes with varying electron affinity to assess the impact of electronic structure on device performance and air stability. Through theoretical and experimental analysis of the electronic structure, characterization of thin-film structure, and characterization of transistor device properties we find that the air stability of the present series of fullerenes not only depends on the absolute electron affinity of the semiconductor but also on the disorder within the thin-film. © 2011 American Institute of Physics.