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Although nanomaterials had been known for many years prior to the report of C 60 the field of nanoscale science was undoubtedly founded upon this seminal discovery. Part of the reason for this explosion in nanochemistry is that while carbon materials range from well-defined nano sized molecules (i.e., C 60 ) to tubes with lengths of hundreds of microns, they do not exhibit the instabilities of other nanomaterials as a result of the very high activation barriers to their structural rearrangement. As a consequence they are highly stable even in their unfunctionalized forms. Despite this range of carbon nanomaterials possible they exhibit common reaction chemistry: that of organic chemistry.

The previously unknown allotrope of carbon: C 60 , was discovered in 1985, and in 1996, Curl, Kroto, and Smalley were awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the discovery. The other allotropes of carbon are graphite (sp 2 ) and diamond (sp 3 ). C 60 , commonly known as the “buckyball” or “Buckminsterfullerene”, has a spherical shape comprising of highly pyramidalized sp 2 carbon atoms. The C 60 variant is often compared to the typical soccer football, hence buckyball. However, confusingly, this term is commonly used for higher derivatives. Fullerenes are similar in sheet structure to graphite but they contain pentagonal (or sometimes heptagonal) rings that prevent the sheet from being planar. The unusual structure of C 60 led to the introduction of a new class of molecules known as fullerenes, which now constitute the third allotrope of carbon. Fullerenes are commonly defined as “any of a class of closed hollow aromatic carbon compounds that are made up of twelve pentagonal and differing numbers of hexagonal faces.”

The number of carbon atoms in a fullerene range from C 60 to C 70 , C 76 , and higher. Higher order fullerenes include carbon nanotubes that can be described as fullerenes that have been stretched along a rotational axis to form a tube. As a consequence of differences in the chemistry of fullerenes such as C 60 and C 70 as compared to nanotubes, these will be dealt with separately herein. In addition there have also been reports of nanohorns and nanofibers, however, these may be considered as variations on the general theme. It should be noted that fullerenes and nanotubes have been shown to be in flames produced by hydrocarbon combustion. Unfortunately, these naturally occurring varieties can be highly irregular in size and quality, as well as being formed in mixtures, making them unsuitable for both research and industrial applications.


Carbon-60 (C 60 ) is probably the most studied individual type of nanomaterial. The spherical shape of C 60 is constructed from twelve pentagons and twenty hexagons and resembles a soccer ball ( [link] a). The next stable higher fullerene is C 70 ( [link] b) that is shaped like a rugby or American football. The progression of higher fullerenes continues in the sequence C 74 , C 76 , C 78 , etc. The structural relationship between each involves the addition of six membered rings. Mathematically (and chemically) two principles define the existence of a stable fullerene, i.e., Euler’s theorem and isolated pentagon rule (IPR). Euler’s theorem states that for the closure of each spherical network, n (n ≥ 2) hexagons and 12 pentagons are required while the IPR says no two pentagons may be connected directly with each other as destabilization is caused by two adjacent pentagons.

Questions & Answers

how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
many many of nanotubes
what is the k.e before it land
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
I'm interested in nanotube
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
what is nano technology
Sravani Reply
what is system testing?
preparation of nanomaterial
Victor Reply
Yes, Nanotechnology has a very fast field of applications and their is always something new to do with it...
Himanshu Reply
good afternoon madam
what is system testing
what is the application of nanotechnology?
In this morden time nanotechnology used in many field . 1-Electronics-manufacturad IC ,RAM,MRAM,solar panel etc 2-Helth and Medical-Nanomedicine,Drug Dilivery for cancer treatment etc 3- Atomobile -MEMS, Coating on car etc. and may other field for details you can check at Google
anybody can imagine what will be happen after 100 years from now in nano tech world
after 100 year this will be not nanotechnology maybe this technology name will be change . maybe aftet 100 year . we work on electron lable practically about its properties and behaviour by the different instruments
name doesn't matter , whatever it will be change... I'm taking about effect on circumstances of the microscopic world
how hard could it be to apply nanotechnology against viral infections such HIV or Ebola?
silver nanoparticles could handle the job?
not now but maybe in future only AgNP maybe any other nanomaterials
I'm interested in Nanotube
this technology will not going on for the long time , so I'm thinking about femtotechnology 10^-15
can nanotechnology change the direction of the face of the world
Prasenjit Reply

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Source:  OpenStax, Nanomaterials and nanotechnology. OpenStax CNX. May 07, 2014 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col10700/1.13
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