LAGUNA DESIGN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY LAGUNA DESIGN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Buckminsterfullerene Earth. Conceptual computer artwork of the Earth surrounded by a molecular model of buckminsterfullerene (C60). This is a structural form (allotrope) of carbon. The carbon atoms (pink spheres) form pentagonal and hexagonal ring structures. These in turn are connected to form the ball structure. The first fullerene 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 can be exploited to make new catalysts, lubricants and superconductors.
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