DR TIM EVANS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR TIM EVANS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Buckminsterfullerene molecule. Computer graphic of buckminsterfullerene (C60), a structural form (allotrope) of carbon. The carbon (C) atoms (red spheres) are bonded together as pentagon or hexagon 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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