Fullerenes are carbon molecules exhibiting a spherical football like shape comprised of 12 pentagonal faces and a corresponding number of hexagonal faces. At its core, fullerenes are hollow like balls and are thus sometimes referred to as Buckyballs or C60 fullerenes. Buckminsterfullerenes, their non-scientific name was devised after R Buckminster Fuller who was a great American architect. He designed structures similar in shape to the buckyballs, long before they were actually discovered.
First significant isolation of buckyballs took place in 1990. More novel methods of isolating buckyballs have since been discovered and buckyballs are today used for a variety of purposes, principal amongst them being scientific research. Log into the site for more details regarding general fullerene facts.
Various properties of fullerenes have been discovered. These properties that are very different from the other carbon allotropes have promised great use of fullerenes in synthetic industrial and pharmaceutical applications making many experts buy C60 fullerenes. Fullerenes and its derivatives are set to change a lot of things in the near future.
Structures and properties
Fullerene molecules have a fascinating arrangement with an even number of carbon atoms arrayed forming a cage-like structure that is hollow at its core. Atoms trigonally join with their neighbors eventually forming 12 pentagons and some number of hexagons. The C60 fullerenes such form a perfect symmetry of a truncated icosahedron.
Liquid C60 fullerenes do not readily dissolve in water. However, they are soluble in Benzene. On the other hand, Solid C60 fullerenes at room temperature rotate isotropically. At higher temperatures or extremely low temperatures, this is not the case and the rotation stops giving C60 fullerenes a distorted look.
Fullerenes are selectively reactive with other materials. They can do so even while maintaining their spherical geometry since fullerenes easily accept electrons but do not part with them quickly. This makes C60 fullerenes an effective electron acceptor. It is this property of fullerenes that has enhanced its use as a conductor or even superconductor.
The main ingredient used for manufacture or synthesis of all types of fullerenes is soot. This is obtained through the ablation of graphite. Next, fullerenes are synthesized from the soot using Soxhlet extractor that grades away other organic solvents and fullerenes. This process can help in the extraction of up to 75% C60 and other fullerenes.
There is an increasing demand to buy C60 fullerenes by many industries as well as scientists for their unique properties.