Fullerenes and buckyballs are not the same thing Jun 29, 2013 0:31:15 GMT -5
Post by skyship on Jun 29, 2013 0:31:15 GMT -5
The name Buckminsterfullerene comes from the architect Buckminster Fuller who invented the geodesic dome. This is a dome composed of interlocking hexagons or pentagons. The C60 has a similar geometric construction. The Buckminsterfullerene is often shortened to the term ‘Buckyball’. This description is a bit inaccurate when it comes to describing Buckminsterfullerenes that are in a tube shape. Usually, C60 molecules are called fullerenes and those that are spherical are called Buckminsterfullerenes or Buckyballs.
The Buckyball was first discovered in 1985 by Harold Kroto, James R. Heath, Sean O’Brien, Robert Curl and Richard Smalley at Rice University. Kroto, Curl and Smalley were awarded the 1996 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
Excitement was soon created by the discovery that the Buckminsterfullerene is the largest matter to exhibit wave-particle duality.
The challenge after discovering the new allotrope of carbon was to find a way to make it easily. A system was devised in 1990 by W. Krätchmer and D. R. Huffman. In this process carbon soot is produced from two graphite electrodes by creating an arc discharge between them in the medium of helium. The soot is collected and dissolved in organic solvents. This produces a solution that is 75% C60. The final process is chromatography.
The Structure of Buckyballs
The Buckyball is a truncated icosahedron with 60 vertices and 32 faces. This is composed of 20 hexagons and 12 pentagons. The easiest way to visualize the structure is to think of a modern soccer ball.
The diameter of a Buckyball is about 1.01 nanometers (a nanometer is a millionth of a meter).
There are two types of bond in the structure: 6:6 bonds between hexagons and 6:5 bonds between hexagons and pentagons. Each carbon atom is bonded covalently with 3 others.
The great thing about the Buckminsterfullerene or any C60 molecule is that it is very stable. It can withstand high temperatures and pressures. It can react with other compounds and maintain its spherical shape. The hollow structure is able to ‘trap’ other atoms and molecules.
It is possible to substitute one carbon atom for nitrogen or boron to make C59N or C59B respectively.
As a solid, C60 is soft like graphite but when compressed it becomes hard and is known as an aggregated diamond nanorod. As with graphite, C60 is a semiconductor.
Perhaps the greatest contribution the discovery of the Buckminsterfullerene has been conceptual. It is small, stable as a sphere or tube and can be viewed as a building block. This has started a massive groundswell among scientists about the possibilities of building from the atomic level up structures, or nanostructures to perform all types of purposes. This is essentially the paradigm behind nanotechnology. It gives us almost god-like abilities to alter nature at a fundamental level."
Now, would you say this came from "alien technology" and we reversed it? the so called "reverse engineering"?
Well, seems ole Bucky knew what it was, as did those who could mimic it, using "soot" Are the buckyballs found in space, the same as those created on earth? I do not think so~!
So, whose idea was it to use these? To actually find tools to build them? Who are the real engineers?