KENNETH EWARD / BIOGRAFX / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY KENNETH EWARD / BIOGRAFX / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Buckyball containing ion. Molecular graphic of a buckyball (Buckminsterfullerene, C60) molecule containing a potassium ion. Until the discovery of Buckminsterfullerene (C60) in 1985 carbon had been thought to exist as only two allotropes: graphite and diamond. The new allotrope, nicknamed buckyball, was found to consist of 60 carbon atoms linked together in hexagons and pentagons to form a football-shaped sphere. Scientists have since discovered a whole family of fullerenes, whose novel physical and chemical properties are being exploited to produce new types of catalysts, sized "nanotechnology" electrical components.
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