carbon allotropes

Discovered in 1965, buckyballs (formally known as buckminsterfullerenes) are hollow spheres made of carbon atoms named after American engineer, Buckminster Fuller (1895 – 1983), who popularized geodesic dome buildings. Buckyballs and nanotubes are an allotrope (structural configuration) of carbon called fullerenes, also after Fuller.

The discovery of fullerenes greatly expanded the number of known carbon allotropes, which until recently were limited to graphite, diamond, and amorphous carbon such as soot and charcoal. Buckyballs and buckytubes have been the subject of intense research, both for their unique chemistry and for their technological applications, especially in materials science, electronics, and nanotechnology.

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