Science of C60

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C60 is made of 60 carbon atoms bonded to form a hollow sphere resembling a soccer ball. It’s in a group of chemicals called fullerenes and is often called buckminsterfullerene or buckyballs. It is formed in tiny amounts in soot and wood ash. The science of C60 is fascinating.

Science of C60

To make significant quantities of C60 you have to pass a large electric current between 2 graphite rods in an atmosphere of an inert gas like helium. The carbon in the graphite rods burns and this produces soot.

To purify the C60 contained in the soot it is dissolved in a solvent like toluene and separated by chromatography based on the atomic weight of the different fullerenes, e.g., C60, C70, etc.

Once the C60 is separated from the other fullerenes it is extracted from the solvent and can be further purified by sublimation.

C60 was discovered in 1985 by Sir Harry Kroto, Richard Smalley and Robert Curl and they started the science of C60. They vaporised graphite, in a helium atmosphere, and when the carbon atoms condensed they formed structures that most commonly were composed of 60 and 70 carbon atoms.

The theory put forward was the 60 carbon atoms formed a spheroidal structure and Kroto put forward that they might take the form of a geodesic dome of the type designed by the inventor Buckminster Fuller.

The resulting group of molecules were therefore given the name fullerenes

C60 is made of 60 carbon atoms bonded to form a hollow sphere resembling a soccer ball. It’s in a group of chemicals called fullerenes and is often called buckminsterfullerene or buckyballs. It is formed in tiny amounts in soot and wood ash. The science of C60 is fascinating.

Science of C60

To make significant quantities of C60 you have to pass a large electric current between 2 graphite rods in an atmosphere of an inert gas like helium. The carbon in the graphite rods burns and this produces soot.

To purify the C60 contained in the soot it is dissolved in a solvent like toluene and separated by chromatography based on the atomic weight of the different fullerenes, e.g., C60, C70, etc.

Once the C60 is separated from the other fullerenes it is extracted from the solvent and can be further purified by sublimation.

C60 was discovered in 1985 by Sir Harry Kroto, Richard Smalley and Robert Curl and they started the science of C60. They vaporised graphite, in a helium atmosphere, and when the carbon atoms condensed they formed structures that most commonly were composed of 60 and 70 carbon atoms.

The theory put forward was the 60 carbon atoms formed a spheroidal structure and Kroto put forward that they might take the form of a geodesic dome of the type designed by the inventor Buckminster Fuller.

The resulting group of molecules were therefore given the name fullerenes

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