LAGUNA DESIGN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY LAGUNA DESIGN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Doping buckyball molecules. Computer artwork showing a conveyor belt (top left to bottom right) of buckyball molecules being doped (combined) with other atoms (blue). Buckyballs are fullerenes, structural types (allotropes) of carbon. These have 60 carbon atoms, which are arranged in a spherical structure consisting of interlinking hexagonal and pentagonal rings. It is thought that one day the ability of buckyballs to trap atoms within it might benefit the medical community. For example, they may be used to deliver medicines to specific tissues and cells. Buckyballs can also be used to trap metallic elements. This means scientists can fine tune a buckyball's electronic properties, which may be useful in electronic devices and circuitry.
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