Fullerene Suspensions

Authored by: Nitin C. Shukla , Scott T. Huxtable

2 Handbook of Nanophysics

Print publication date:  September  2010
Online publication date:  September  2010

Print ISBN: 9781420075540
eBook ISBN: 9781420075557
Adobe ISBN:


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Carbon fullerenes, or buckyballs, are large molecules that typically contain 60 or more carbon atoms and are in the form of hollow spheres or ellipsoids, as shown in Figure 40.1. Fullerenes were discovered (Kroto et al., 1985) in the mid-1980s, earning the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1996 for Curl, Kroto, and Smalley (Service, 1996). However, since the production of fullerenes is accompanied by the generation of large quantities of soot, the fullerenes must first be separated and extracted from soot and other impurities. Thus, despite intense interest, the early years of research on fullerenes were hindered by the difficulty of extracting and purifying macroscopic quantities of these unique and exciting new molecules. Eventually, Krätschmer et al. (1990) successfully isolated macroscopic quantities of C60 by dissolving the fullerene and soot mixtures in benzene. This breakthrough opened the doors to fullerene research for different research groups around the world, and rapid progress toward understanding these nanoparticles began.

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