PHILIPPE PLAILLY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PHILIPPE PLAILLY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Fullerene molecule. Space-filled molecular graphics image of a C60 fullerene molecule or 'buckyball'. The first of the fullerenes to be described, C60 is a spherical 'football' of sixty carbon atoms. The structure of the molecule consists of twelve pentagonal rings of carbon atoms dispersed around the sphere, separated by hexagonal rings of atoms. Fullerenes are known as spheres containing between 32 and 540 atoms, and also in the form of long, narrow tubes. Uses proposed for fullerenes include lubrication, catalysis, nanometre-scale electronics and as a superconducting material.
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