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any of a class of carboncarbon
[Lat.,=charcoal], nonmetallic chemical element; symbol C; at. no. 6; interval in which at. wt. ranges 12.0096–12.0116; m.p. about 3,550°C;; graphite sublimes about 3,375°C;; b.p. 4,827°C;; sp. gr. 1.8–2.1 (amorphous), 1.9–2.3 (graphite), 3.
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 molecules in which the carbon atoms are arranged into 12 pentagonal faces and 2 or more hexagonal faces to form a hollow sphere, cylinder, or similar figure. The smallest possible fullerene molecule may have as few as 32 atoms of carbon, although fullerenelike molecules (lacking a hexagonal face) with as few as 20 carbon atoms have been found.

The most common and most stable fullerene is buckminsterfullerenebuckminsterfullerene
or buckyball,
C60, hollow cage carbon molecule named for R. Buckminster Fuller because of the resemblance of its molecular structure to his geodesic domes.
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, a spheroidal molecule, resembling a soccer ball, consisting of 60 carbon atoms. Buckminsterfullerene is the most abundant cluster of carbon atoms found in carbon soot. It is also the smallest carbon molecule whose pentagonal faces are isolated from each other. Other fullerenes that have been produced in macroscopic amounts have 70, 76, 84, 90, and 96 carbon atoms, and much larger fullerenes have been found, such as those that contain 180, 190, 240, and 540 carbon atoms.

Fullerenes were first identified in 1985 as products of experiments in which graphite was vaporized using a laser, work for which R. F. Curl, Jr., R. E. Smally, and H. W. Kroto shared the 1996 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Fullerenes have since been discovered in nature as a result of lightning strikes, in the residue produced by carbon arc lamps, in interstellar dust, and in meteorites.

Fullerene chemistry involves substituting metal atoms for one or more carbon atoms in the molecule to produce compounds called fullerides. Among these are conducting films of alkali metal-doped fullerenes and superconductors (potassium-doped Tc 18°K;, rubidium-doped Tc 30°K;). Fullerenes also have been used to produce tiny diamonds and thin diamond films. Fullerene research is expected to lead to new materials, lubricants, coatings, catalysts, electro-optical devices, and medical applications.


See M. S. Dresselhaus et al., Science of Fullerenes and Carbon Nanotubes (1996); H. W. Kroto, The Fullerenes: New Horizons for the Chemistry, Physics, and Astrophysics of Carbon (1997); R. Taylor, ed., Lecture Notes on Fullerene Chemistry (1999).


A large molecule composed entirely of carbon, with the chemical formula Cn , where n is any even number from 32 to over 100; believed to have the structure of a hollow spheroidal cage with a surface network of carbon atoms connected in hexagonal and pentagonal rings.
References in periodicals archive ?
Taking into consideration the toxicity of non-functionalized fullerene molecule, the application of the presented theoretical method instead of practical experiments can prevent the harmful effects of the drug as well as increasing the effectiveness of the proposed nanostructure.
According to the report, the most important driving factor in the fullerene market is the increase in state funding for nanotechnology-focused R&D projects.
In fact, all fullerenes other than the 20-atom dodecahedron and the 60-atom soccer ball have this defect.
The weights of the fullerene and carbon-fullerene coatings do not decrease until 752F (400C), but then show sharp declines.
SDK is therefore confident that its nanotechnology acquired through the VGCFTM business can be practically applied to the Fullerene business.
Exohedral fullerenes also called as fullerene derivatives, are synthesized by chemical reaction between the fullerene and other chemical groups.
Experiments have already shown that grafting certain chemical groupings onto fullerenes makes them water soluble.
Inhibition of the HIV-1 protease by fullerene derivatives: model building studies and experimental verification.
Beauty and health researchers are excited about the delivery potential of something called Fullerenes, which could make you beautiful inside as well as out.
The scientists found that electric current only flowed from parts where the soccer ball-like fullerene molecules were absent to parts where they were present, meaning that the tube works like a diode, a semiconductor device that conducts electric current only in one direction.
Mitsubishi officials said applications of Fullerene range from long-life lithium ion batteries, hydrogen storage material for fuel cells, super conductive materials, and super-small-particle artificial diamonds for industrial grinding.