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In 1986 at Rice University, Houston, Texas, a third allotrope of carbon was discovered. It was fcc crystal structure as shown in Figure 1.57. At each lattice point there was a giant molecule. Each giant molecule C 60 consisted of 60 carbon atoms and it was of soccer ball type geometry. Within this giant molecule there are 12 pentagons and 20 hexagons. Since soccer ball type geometry resembles Geodesic Dome designed by Architect R. Buckminster Fuller[Appendix XXXXV] hence in his honour it is called ‘Buckminsterfullerene’ or bucky ball in short. These are stable and chemically unreactive. It can be made from graphite in the laboratory. It is found in small quantities in soot and in carbon rich found in Russia. Fullerene molecules are held in a solid form by Van der Waals attraction just as hexagonal carbon layers of graphene are held in stack in graphite. Fullerene come in groups of 28, 32, 50 70. There can be still larger fullerene molecules. K 3 C 60 yield a superconductor at room temperature.

Carbon Nanotubes is a variant of bucky balls. It contains tiny cylinders of rolled up grapheme. The hexagon of carbon atoms may be arranged straight along the tube or wind around like a helix. In the former case nanotube is a conductor and in the latter case it behaves like a semi-conductor. If nano tubes can be fabricated in longer lengths they hold promise as very strong fibers ten times stronger than stel and six times lighter and flexible. They will act as ideal material for reinforcing epoxy resin giving rise to unusually strong composite mnmaterial.

Table 1.22. Crystalline allotropes of Carbon(ρ is the density and Y is elastic modulus or Young’s modulus)

[From Principles of Electronic Materials and Devices, Second Edition, S. O. Kasap(© McGraw- Hill, 2002)]

Graphite Diamond BuckminsterfullereneCrystal
Structure Covalent bonding within layers.Van der Waals bonding between layers.Hexagonal unit cell. Covalent bonded network.Diamond crystal structure. Covalently bonded C 60 spheroidal molecules held in an FCC crystal structure by van der Waals bonding.
Electrical and Thermal Properties Good electricalConductor.Thermal conductivity comparable to metals. Very good insulator. Excellent thermal conductor, about 5 times more than that of silver or copper. Semiconductor. Compounds with alkali metals (e.g. K 3 C 60 ) exhibit superconductivity.
Mechanical Properties Lubricating agent.Machinable.Bulk graphite:Y≈ 27GPa ρ = 2.25 gm/cm 3 The hardest material. Y = 827GPa, ρ = 3.5 gm/cm 3 Mechanically soft.Y≈ 18GPa ρ = 1.65 gm/cm 3
Comment Stable allotrope at atmospheric pressure. High pressure allotrope. Laboratory synthesized. Occurs in the soot of partial combustion.
Uses and potential uses Metalurgical crucibles, Welding electrodes heating elements,Electrical contacts,Refractory applications. Cutting tool applications.Diamond anvils. Diamond film coated drills, blades, bearings etc. Jewellry. Heat conductor for IC’s.Possible thin film semiconductor devices as the charge carrier drift mobilities are large. Possible future semiconductors or superconductivity applications.

Questions & Answers

How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
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
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
How can I make nanorobot?
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
how can I make nanorobot?
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
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?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
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Source:  OpenStax, Solid state physics and devices-the harbinger of third wave of civilization. OpenStax CNX. Sep 15, 2014 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11170/1.89
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