A form of carbon having a large spheroidal molecule consisting of a hollow cage of sixty or more atoms, of which buckminsterfullerene was the first known example. Fullerenes are produced chiefly by the action of an arc discharge between carbon electrodes in an inert atmosphere.
- Iijima was investigating a technique used to make carbon molecules called fullerenes, in which dozens of carbon atoms are joined together in hollow cages.
- This newly synthesized molecule is the smallest member of the family of closed-cage carbon molecules known as fullerenes.
- Structural relatives to fullerenes, carbon nanotubes have been the object of theoretical work for the past few years.
1980s: contraction of buckminsterfullerene.
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