Sunday, September 5, 2010

25th anniversary of Bucky Ball

Yesterday was the 25th anniversary of discover of Bucky Ball – known as fullerene. Fullerenes are new class of carbon allotropes. They are spheroidal in shape and contain   even number of carbon atoms ranging from 60 – 350 or above. The C60 fullerene is the most stable and was the first to be identified. It contains 60 atoms which are arranged in the shape of a football or a soccer ball, therefore, it is called buck ball.
It contains 20 six – membered rings and 12 five – memebered rings but five – membered rings are fused only to six – memebered rings. In other words, no two five – memebered rings are fused together. Further, because these allotropes look like geodesic by the US architect Buckminister Fuller, they are called Buckminster fullerenes or fullerenes.

Bucky ball is a dark solid at room temperature. Unlike diamond and graphite which are giant molecules containing thousands and thousands of carbon atoms, C60 fullerene is a very small molecule containing only 60 carbon atoms.

Bucky balls or Fullerenes were discovered by H.W.Kroto, R.F.Curt and R.E.Smalley. The 1996 Nobel Prize was awarded to above scientists for the discovery of fullerenes.
The popular search engine giant Google released popular doodle on the 25th anniversary of the discovery of the Bucky ball on Saturday, September 4.


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