• [29] Other fullerenes[edit] Another fairly common fullerene has empirical formula C70,[30] but fullerenes with 72, 76, 84 and even up to 100 carbon atoms are commonly obtained.

  • A fullerene is an allotrope of carbon whose molecules consist of carbon atoms connected by single and double bonds so as to form a closed or partially closed mesh, with fused
    rings of five to seven atoms.

  • [25][26] Types There are two major families of fullerenes, with fairly distinct properties and applications: the closed buckyballs and the open-ended cylindrical carbon nanotubes.

  • By employing a systematic global search algorithm, it was later found that the previously proposed b80 fullerene is not a global maximum for 80-atom boron clusters and hence
    can not be found in nature; the most stable configurations have complex.

  • [27] However, hybrid structures exist between those two classes, such as carbon nanobuds — nanotubes capped by hemispherical meshes or larger “buckybuds”.

  • [42] The same paper concluded that boron’s energy landscape, unlike others, has many disordered low-energy structures, hence pure boron fullerenes are unlikely to exist in

  • [45][46] Main fullerenes Below is a table of main closed carbon fullerenes synthesized and characterized so far, with their CAS number when known.

  • Buckyballs[edit] C60 with isosurface of ground state electron density as calculated with DFT Rotating view of C60, one kind of fullerene Buckminsterfullerene[edit] Main article:
    Buckminsterfullerene Buckminsterfullerene is the smallest fullerene molecule containing pentagonal and hexagonal rings in which no two pentagons share an edge (which can be destabilizing, as in pentalene).

  • [34] Another highly speculative proposed use in the field of space technologies is to produce high-tensile carbon cables required by a space elevator.

  • Their unique molecular structure results in extraordinary macroscopic properties, including high tensile strength, high electrical conductivity, high ductility, high heat
    conductivity, and relative chemical inactivity (as it is cylindrical and “planar” — that is, it has no “exposed” atoms that can be easily displaced).

  • [5][6] The discovery of fullerenes greatly expanded the number of known allotropes of carbon, which had previously been limited to graphite, diamond, and amorphous carbon
    such as soot and charcoal.

  • [18] The “ene” ending was chosen to indicate that the carbons are unsaturated, being connected to only three other atoms instead of the normal four.

  • [40] However, subsequent analysis found that the predicted Ih symmetric structure was vibrationally unstable and the resulting cage would undergo a spontaneous symmetry break,
    yielding a puckered cage with rare Th symmetry (symmetry of a volleyball).

  • In the mass spectrum of the product, discrete peaks appeared corresponding to molecules with the exact mass of sixty or seventy or more carbon atoms, namely C60 and C70.

  • [10][11] He noticed that the structure of a corannulene molecule was a subset of the shape of a football, and hypothesised that a full ball shape could also exist.

  • The empirical formula of buckminsterfullerene is C60 and its structure is a truncated icosahedron, which resembles an association football ball of the type made of twenty
    hexagons and twelve pentagons, with a carbon atom at the vertices of each polygon and a bond along each polygon edge.

  • Boron[edit] A type of buckyball which uses boron atoms, instead of the usual carbon, was predicted and described in 2007.

  • Derivatives Buckyballs and carbon nanotubes have been used as building blocks for a great variety of derivatives and larger structures, such as[27] • Nested buckyballs (“carbon
    nano-onions” or “buckyonions”)[35] proposed for lubricants;[36] • Nested carbon nanotubes (“carbon megatubes”)[37] • Linked “ball-and-chain” dimers (two buckyballs linked by a carbon chain)[38] • Rings of buckyballs linked together.

  • [7] Definition IUPAC defines fullerenes as “polyhedral closed cages made up entirely of n three-coordinate carbon atoms and having 12 pentagonal and hexagonal faces, where
    n ≥ 20.

  • Fullerenes with a closed mesh topology are informally denoted by their empirical formula Cn, often written Cn, where n is the number of carbon atoms.

  • is the number of possible isomers within the “isolated pentagon rule”, which states that two pentagons in a fullerene should not share edges.

  • [39] Heterofullerenes and non-carbon fullerenes After the discovery of C60, many fullerenes have been synthesized (or studied theoretically by molecular modeling methods)
    in which some or all the carbon atoms are replaced by other elements.

  • It is also most common in terms of natural occurrence, as it can often be found in soot.

  • [47] Fullerenes with fewer than 60 carbon atoms have been called “lower fullerenes”,[48] and those with more than 70 atoms “higher fullerenes”.

  • [1] The bulk solid form of pure or mixed fullerenes is called fullerite.

  • They were discovered in 1993[33] and greatly expand the overall fullerene class of compounds and can have dangling bonds on their surfaces.

  • [44] Icosahedral or distorted-icosahedral fullerene-like complexes have also been prepared for germanium, tin, and lead; some of these complexes are spacious enough to hold
    most transition metal atoms.

  • Note that only one form of C60, buckminsterfullerene, has no pair of adjacent pentagons (the smallest such fullerene).

  • Around 1980, Sumio Iijima identified the molecule of C60 from an electron microscope image of carbon black, where it formed the core of a particle with the structure of a
    “bucky onion”.

  • Reactions Polymerization[edit] Under high pressure and temperature, buckyballs collapse to form various one-, two-, or three-dimensional carbon frameworks.

  • The alternative “top-down” approach claims that fullerenes form when much larger structures break into constituent parts.

  • [73] However, they found that the asymmetrical molecule could theoretically collapse to form nearly every known fullerene and metallofullerene.

  • [81] The toxicity of these carbon nanoparticles is not only dose- and time-dependent, but also depends on a number of other factors such as: • type • functional groups used
    to water-solubilize these nanoparticles (e.g.

  • [57][58] Encapsulation[edit] Main article: Endohedral fullerenes Additional atoms, ions, clusters, or small molecules can be trapped inside fullerenes to form inclusion compounds
    known as endohedral fullerenes.

  • Bonding[edit] Since each carbon atom is connected to only three neighbors, instead of the usual four, it is customary to describe those bonds as being a mixture of single
    and double covalent bonds.

  • The synthesized substance was a particular metallofullerene consisting of 84 carbon atoms with two additional carbon atoms and two yttrium atoms inside the cage.

  • This has been shown to be the case using quantum chemical modelling, which showed the existence of strong diamagnetic sphere currents in the cation.

  • The quantum mechanics of such an arrangement should be like only one shell of the well-known quantum mechanical structure of a single atom, with a stable filled shell for
    (i.e., twice a perfect square number), but this series does not include 60.

  • The sp2-hybridized carbon atoms, which are at their energy minimum in planar graphite, must be bent to form the closed sphere or tube, which produces angle strain.

  • If the structure of the fullerene does not allow such numbering, another starting atom was chosen to still achieve a spiral path sequence.

  • The original (and still current) method was to send a large electric current between two nearby graphite electrodes in an inert atmosphere.

  • In a humorously speculative 1966 column for New Scientist, David Jones suggested the possibility of making giant hollow carbon molecules by distorting a plane hexagonal net
    with the addition of impurity atoms.

  • The nC60 described below may be the result of C60 trying to form a loose metallic bond.

  • [73] In 2013 researchers discovered that asymmetrical fullerenes formed from larger structures settle into stable fullerenes.

  • To indicate the position of substituted or attached elements, the fullerene atoms are usually numbered in a spiral path, usually starting with the ring on one of the main

  • Stability[edit] Two theories have been proposed to describe the molecular mechanisms that make fullerenes.

  • Minor perturbations involving the breaking of a few molecular bonds cause the cage to become highly symmetrical and stable.

  • [76][77] These processes yield a mixture of various fullerenes and other forms of carbon.

  • [71] Superconductivity[edit] Main article: Buckminsterfullerene Fullerenes are normally electrical insulators, but when crystallized with alkali metals, the resultant compound
    can be conducting or even superconducting.


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