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Molecular packing in buckyball crystals

Molecular packing in buckyball crystals

A700/0040

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Credit

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

Caption

Computer graphic representation of lattice packing in crystals of Buckminsterfullerene (C60). The individual C60 molecules, known as Buckyballs, are seen as the soccer-ball like objects. The orange areas denote the crystal planes of the solid. The crystalline form of C60 was first reported by Huffman et al in 1990. The crystal shows a disordered hexagonal packing, the C60 molecules being held together by weak electrostatic van der Waals forces. A whole family of fullerenes is now known to exist with molecules of between 36 and 540 atoms. The structure of the C60 molecule was first postulated by Kroto et al in 1985.

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