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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).

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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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
In our article [3] the structure of the electronic spectrum of the charged fullerenes is investigated numerically.
Regarding the fullerene derivatives, the Table 2 summarizes the results of electronic structural properties obtained in the calculations.
The physicochemical properties and novel techniques of the synthesis of fullerenes, CNTs, and graphene have originated new research fields in biomedicine which aim to study and treat pathologies such as cancer with these carbon nanomaterials [16].
Density functional calculations of the reactions C[X.sub.3] radical + [C.sub.20][H.sub.20] (X = H, F, Cl, and Br) based on two pathways (H-displacement and H-abstraction from [C.sub.20][H.sub.20]) showed that C[H.sub.3] radical prefers H-abstraction from [C.sub.20][H.sub.20] while F-displacement is favorable for the reaction of C[F.sub.3] radical with the fullerene. Exothermic characters of H-abstraction with the lower potential barrier indicate that the H-abstraction would dominate the reaction C[Cl.sub.3.sup.*] + [C.sub.20][H.sub.20] while endothermic characters with high potential barrier heights for two reaction pathways of [C.sub.20][H.sub.20] with C[Br.sub.3.sup.*] indicate unfavorable thermodynamically and kinetically pathways for these reactions [3].
Sharma, "Olive oil as a biocompatible solvent for pristine C60," Fullerenes, Nanotubes, and Carbon Nanostructures, vol.
[14.] Hendrickson O.D., Zherdev A.V., Gmoshinskii I.V., Dzantev B.B.: Fullerenes: In vivo studies of biodistribution, toxicity, and biological action.
In this case, the SWCNT served as the donor, as it donated an electron to the acceptor (here, the fullerene).
Moreover, as a new energetic fullerene derivative , energetic properties of FTNPEM by using density functional theory (DFT) method were calculated by designing isodesmic reactions.
Engineers at imec have developed a third option, one that removes fullerenes from the equation.
But with the support of investment led by Oxford Technology and the Oxford Invention Fund, Isis Innovation has established the Designer Carbon Materials company which hopes to cost-effectively manufacture commercially useful quantities of the spherical carbon cage structures known as fullerenes or buckyballs.
In fact, all fullerenes other than the 20-atom dodecahedron and the 60-atom soccer ball have this defect.