Buckminsterfullerene (or buckyball) is a spherical fullerene molecule with the formula C60. It is a cage-like fused-ring structure which resembles a soccer ball, made of twenty hexagons and twelve pentagons, with a carbon atom at the vertices of each polygon and a bond along each polygon edge.
It was first intentionally prepared in 1985 by Harold Kroto, James R. Heath, Sean O’Brien, Robert Curl and Richard Smalley at Rice University. Kroto, Curl and Smalley were awarded the 1996 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their roles in the discovery of buckminsterfullerene and the related class of molecules, the fullerenes. The name is an homage to Buckminster Fuller, as C60 resembles his trademark geodesic domes. Buckminsterfullerene is the most common fullerene molecule in terms of natural occurrence, as it can be found in small quantities in soot. Solid and gaseous forms of the molecule have been detected in deep space.
Buckminsterfullerene is the largest matter to have been shown to exhibit wave–particle duality. Its discovery led to the exploration of a new field of chemistry, involving the study of fullerenes.
Read more: C60 | Nanotechnology eLearning Center
Posted on Tuesday, September 11th 2012