Buckminsterfullerene. Computer graphic of a molecule of buckminsterfullerene (C60). This is a structural form (allotrope) of carbon; other allotropes are diamond and graphite. The carbon (C) atoms (blue spheres) are bonded together into pentagon and hexagon shapes. These in turn are connected to form a football structure. Buckminsterfullerene was discovered in 1985. Since then, fullerenes have been synthesised that range from 36 to 540 carbon atoms in size. Their novel physical and chemical properties have led to new catalysts, lubricants and superconductors.
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