Fullerene compounds knock out virus infections like HIV and HSV

Scientists from the Skoltech Center for Energy Science and Technology and the Institute of Problems of Chemical Physics of RAS in collaboration with researchers from four other Russian and foreign research centers have discovered ...

Transformation through light

Laser physicists have taken snapshots of how C60 carbon molecules react to extremely short pulses of intense infrared light.

Fullerene compounds made simulation-ready

What in the smart nanomaterials world is widely available, highly symmetrical and inexpensive? Hollow carbon structures, shaped like a football, called fullerenes. Their applications range from artificial photosynthesis and ...

Soot forensics: Carbon fingerprints reveal curved nanostructure

Researchers have moved one step closer to reducing air pollution from engines by imaging soot nanoparticles to reveal their unique signatures. The nanoparticle structures are like fingerprints, revealing curved fullerene-like ...

Introducing high-performance non-fullerene organic solar cells

Organic solar cells (OSCs) has driven their efficiencies to above 10 percent to reach a viable level for commercialization. However, the increase in the photoactive layer thickness has resulted in lower efficiency levels, ...

Scientists suggest making electronic devices from 'carbon peas'

Scientists from the National Research Nuclear University MEPhI (Russia) have studied the properties of fullerene nanotubes, also known as "carbon peas," during stretching. The article on the project, which will help develop ...

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Fullerene

A fullerene is any molecule composed entirely of carbon, in the form of a hollow sphere, ellipsoid, or tube. Spherical fullerenes are also called buckyballs, and they resemble the balls used in association football. Cylindrical ones are called carbon nanotubes or buckytubes. Fullerenes are similar in structure to graphite, which is composed of stacked graphene sheets of linked hexagonal rings; but they may also contain pentagonal (or sometimes heptagonal) rings.

The first fullerene to be discovered, and the family's namesake, buckminsterfullerene (C60), was prepared in 1985 by Richard Smalley, Robert Curl, James Heath, Sean O'Brien, and Harold Kroto at Rice University. The name was an homage to Buckminster Fuller, whose geodesic domes it resembles. The structure was also identified some five years earlier by Sumio Iijima, from an electron microscope image, where it formed the core of a "bucky onion." Fullerenes have since been found to occur in nature. More recently, fullerenes have been detected in outer space. According to astronomer Letizia Stanghellini, "It’s possible that buckyballs from outer space provided seeds for life on Earth.”

The discovery of fullerenes greatly expanded the number of known carbon allotropes, which until recently were limited to graphite, diamond, and amorphous carbon such as soot and charcoal. Buckyballs and buckytubes have been the subject of intense research, both for their unique chemistry and for their technological applications, especially in materials science, electronics, and nanotechnology.

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