Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > A possible recipe for building ''football'' with boron

Schematic structures of several boron S-fullerenes.
Schematic structures of several boron S-fullerenes.

Abstract:
If you look carefully at a football, you will notice that its surface is composed of hexagons and pentagons. Hexagons lie side by side while any pentagon is surrounded by five hexagons. How many corners and edges are there? Football players do not have to know that as long as they do pass and shots right; an architect or structural physicist, however, could readily give the answer.

A possible recipe for building ''football'' with boron

Beijing, China | Posted on November 23rd, 2008

For decades, scientists have tried to build molecular structures as symmetric, stable and useful as the football's spheric frame. A rapid communication published online in the Nov. 3 issue of Physical Review B reported a possible recipe for building a variety of nanoscale "footballs" with boron, an element just next to carbon in the periodic table, as proposed by researchers from the College of Physical Sciences, Graduate University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

According to Prof. SU Gang, principal investigator of the team, it is well-known that carbon can form nanostructures like fullerenes, nanotubes and graphenes. These structures are endowed with amazing physical and chemical properties: heat resistance, superconductivity, lubrication, even potential medicinal use. Fullerene, for example, is the name of a beautiful carbon-cage molecule found in 1985 by UK and US scientists, who won the Nobel prize in chemistry for the discovery in 1996. Composed entirely of carbon atoms, it may take the form of a hollow sphere, ellipsoid, tube or plane. People named spherical fullerenes "buckyballs" after the noted architectural modeler Buckminster Fuller.

"So boron is just one atomic number from carbon, and they show many structural analogies. Thanks to this proximity, we believe it can also be grown into similar structures," Su noted.

Among the many scientists who have made remarkable research attempts in this regard, there is 1976 Nobel laureate Prof. William N. Lipscomb, who predicted the possibility of a molecule with 32 boron atoms and an icosahedral structure resembling a buckyball shape. In 2004, experts with Yale University synthesized the first pure boron single-wall nanotube in the world. By April 2007, Prof. Yakobson and coworkers at Rice University had envisioned the existence and stability of another buckyball, B80, a hollow spheric cage consisting of 60 boron atoms at corner and an additional one in the center of each hexagon to increase the stability. Recent theoretical studies conducted respectively at Yale and Tsinghua brought about the prediction of new boron sheets and nanotubes.

Based on previous studies, Su's group was devoted to revealing a general scheme for building boron fullerenes. They finally worked out a formula that can derive a large family of new-type fullerenes with outstanding stability. According to the paper, the formula takes the form of "B 32+8k", where "k" can be zero or any counting number. That is to say, theoretically, scientists can develop an unlimited number of structures like B32, B40¡­ and so on and so forth, well including the one envisioned by Yakobson. The newly predicted boron sheets, researchers analyzed, could be regarded as an extreme case of the scheme where "k" goes infinite. They call the series S-boron fullerenes, since these buckyballs contain basic building blocks that look like snowdrop motifs.

The researchers then studied the stabilities of these boron fullerenes. With intense ab initio calculations, they proposed an electron counting rule as well as an isolated hollow rule to readily explain high stability and electronic bonding property of the novel structures. Analyses showed that the electronic bonding property was also applicable to a number of newly predicted sheets and nanotubes.

The study by Prof. Su and his colleagues, experts believe, has set up a general framework for the construction and property study of novel boron nanostructures. Meanwhile, it might shed light on the possibility of similar structures built with elements other than carbon and boron.

Now, have you come up with the exact number of corners and edges of a football? Anyway, it has 60 corners and 90 edges.

####

About Chinese Academy of Sciences
CAS strives to build itself into a scientific research base at advanced international level, a base for fostering and bringing up advanced S&T talents, and a base for promoting the development of China's high and new technology industries. By 2010, CAS will have about 80 national institutes noted for their powerful capacities in S&T innovation and sustainable development or with distinctive features; thirty of them will become internationally acknowledged, high-level research institutions, and three to five will be world class.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Chinese Academy of Sciences

Add: 52 Sanlihe Rd., Beijing China
Postcode: 100864
Tel: 86 10 68597289
Fax: 86 10 68512458

Chief-Editor's Information:
Guo Haiyan
the Editor
Bulletin of Chinese Academy of Sciences
CAS Institute of Policy & Management,
P.O.Box 8712, Beijing 100080, China.

Copyright © Chinese Academy of Sciences

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Stanford team achieves 'holy grail' of battery design: A stable lithium anode - Engineers use carbon nanospheres to protect lithium from the reactive and expansive problems that have restricted its use as an anode July 27th, 2014

Iranian Scientists Produce Reusable Nanoadsorbent to Detect Sulfamide in Chicken July 27th, 2014

Breakthrough laser experiment reveals liquid-like motion of atoms in an ultra-cold cluster: University of Leicester research team unlocks insights into creation of new nano-materials July 25th, 2014

Scientists Test Nanoparticle "Alarm Clock" to Awaken Immune Systems Put to Sleep by Cancer July 25th, 2014

Nanotubes/Buckyballs

UCF Nanotech Spinout Developing Revolutionary Battery Technology: Power the Next Generation of Electronics with Carbon July 23rd, 2014

University of Houston researchers create new method to draw molecules from live cells: Technique using magnetic nanomaterials offers promise for diagnosis, gene therapy July 17th, 2014

3-D nanostructure could benefit nanoelectronics, gas storage: Rice U. researchers predict functional advantages of 3-D boron nitride July 15th, 2014

Researchers discover boron 'buckyball' July 14th, 2014

Discoveries

Stanford team achieves 'holy grail' of battery design: A stable lithium anode - Engineers use carbon nanospheres to protect lithium from the reactive and expansive problems that have restricted its use as an anode July 27th, 2014

Iranian Scientists Produce Reusable Nanoadsorbent to Detect Sulfamide in Chicken July 27th, 2014

New imaging agent provides better picture of the gut July 25th, 2014

Breakthrough laser experiment reveals liquid-like motion of atoms in an ultra-cold cluster: University of Leicester research team unlocks insights into creation of new nano-materials July 25th, 2014

Materials/Metamaterials

Silicene Labs Announces the Launch of 2D Materials Briefing Book™ and 2D Materials Road-Heat Map™: Contributors Include One of the World's Foremost 2D Materials Scientists July 25th, 2014

Silicene Labs Announces the Launch of Patent-Pending, 2D Materials Composite Index™ : The Initial 2D Materials Composite Index™ for Q2 2014 Is: 857.3; Founders Include World-Renowned Physicist and Seasoned Business and IP Professionals July 24th, 2014

Iranian Scientists Produce Transparent Nanocomposite Coatings with Longer Lifetime July 24th, 2014

Penn Study: Understanding Graphene’s Electrical Properties on an Atomic Level July 22nd, 2014

Announcements

Stanford team achieves 'holy grail' of battery design: A stable lithium anode - Engineers use carbon nanospheres to protect lithium from the reactive and expansive problems that have restricted its use as an anode July 27th, 2014

Iranian Scientists Produce Reusable Nanoadsorbent to Detect Sulfamide in Chicken July 27th, 2014

Breakthrough laser experiment reveals liquid-like motion of atoms in an ultra-cold cluster: University of Leicester research team unlocks insights into creation of new nano-materials July 25th, 2014

Scientists Test Nanoparticle "Alarm Clock" to Awaken Immune Systems Put to Sleep by Cancer July 25th, 2014

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More














ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







© Copyright 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE