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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 ?
What we find in our study is this particular system -- nanotubes with fullerenes -- have an exceptionally low reorganization energy and the nanotubes themselves probably have very, very low reorganization energy," said Jeffrey Blackburn, a senior scientist at NREL and co-author of the paper "Tuning the driving force for exciton dissociation in single-walled carbon nanotube heterojunctions.
Facile synthesis of a flexible tethered porphyrin dimer that preferentially complexes fullerene C70.
Chemical synthesis of a water-soluble fullerene derivative F-828 comprising five residues of 3-phenylpropionic acid and a chlorine atom arranged around one cyclopentadienyl unit on the fullerene cage carrying COOH groups was described by us in detail previously [18, 19].
A series of energetic fullerene derivatives have been intensively investigated in recent years [7-12].
It brings together Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany's extensive experience with organic semiconducting materials and Nano-C's unique know-how in fullerene derivatives.
To investigate the structural and electronic properties of Fullerene molecules decorated with the glycine radicals, we used MINDO/3 (Modified Intermediate Neglect of Differential Overlap version 3).
The increase in absorption was enough so that, when paired with another organic acceptor material called subnaphthalocyanine (SubNC), they achieved enough electron mobility to substitute for fullerenes.
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.
Fullerene structure is observed in Figure 1d, presented as a sphere composed of 60 carbon atoms (C60), 7,11[Angstrom] diameterand 1,46[Angstrom] bond length [21].
A host guest complex can be formed by adding the guest during any stage of the process, as long as the guest such as fullerene can be introduced into the interior of the spiral.