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Scientist holding flask of C60 in benzene

Scientist holding flask of C60 in benzene

T870/0150

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Credit

GEOFF TOMPKINSON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY GEOFF TOMPKINSON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Scientist holding a flask which contains a solution of buckminsterfullerene (C60), a molecule consisting of 60 carbon atoms arranged in an icosahedral ball. It is made by creating an arc between two graphite electrodes in a thin helium atmosphere. The soot that results contains a variety of types of carbon. Roger Taylor, seen here, was the first to isolate C60 from the soot produced by his coleague at the University of Sussex, Jonathan Hare. He did this by adding benzene to a sample of the soot. The magenta colour is characteristic of C60 molecules in solution. Gentle drying of the solution produces pure C60 crystals (fullerite).

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