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Home > News > Making carbon fullerenes with 100 percent efficiency

August 15th, 2008

Making carbon fullerenes with 100 percent efficiency

Abstract:
Carbon fullerenes—specifically C60, the spherical "bucky ball"—have received their fair share of attention, even in the shadow of the more buzz-worthy developments with carbon nanotubes and graphene. The bucky ball's spherical shape could allow it to contain molecules, while other chemical groups to can be attached to the surface, making biomedical applications a natural fit. Just like carbon nanotubes and graphene, however, bucky balls have proven difficult to synthesize reliably. Researchers have now discovered a method that produces the bucky ball configuration of carbon with nearly 100% conversion efficiency from precursor materials.

Current techniques for producing bucky balls are crude: graphite is vaporized and deposited, which may yield only fractions of a percentage of bucky ball fullerene. The vast majority of the carbon ends up in the nanotechnology carnival side-show as a spectacle of misshapen fullerenes, each presumably with unique and mysterious talents but present in scales not suited to reputable science. Not content with this injustice, scientists investigated catalyzing a decomposition reaction with the ever-useful (and insanely expensive) platinum.

Source:
arstechnica.com

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