buckminsterfullerene bŭk˝mĭnstərfo͝ol´ərēn˝, –fo͝ol˝ərēn´ [key]
, hollow cage carbon
molecule named for R. Buckminster Fuller
because of the resemblance of its molecular structure to his geodesic domes. Although buckminsterfullerene (C 60
) was originally detected in soot in 1985, isolation was first reported in 1990. The soccerball-like molecules are prepared in helium by passing about 150 amps through a carbon rod and extracting the soot with benzene; the resulting magenta solution contains C 60
and C 70
. See fullerene
See J. Baggot, Perfect Symmetry: The Accidental Discovery of Buckminsterfullerene (1996); H. Aldersey-Williams, The Most Beautiful Molecule: The Discovery of the Buckyball (1997).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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