Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

android tablet pc

Home > Press > Rice classroom earns place in history

Richard Smalley, left, and Robert Curl won the Nobel Prize for the discover of buckminsterfullerene.
Richard Smalley, left, and Robert Curl won the Nobel Prize for the discover of buckminsterfullerene.

Nano's birthplace named a landmark as Rice celebrates 25th anniversary of the buckyball discovery

By Mike Williams

Rice classroom earns place in history

Houston, TX | Posted on May 31st, 2010

Rick Smalley's Rice University classroom was once a place where the curious learned at the feet of a master. Now it's a place of historical significance.

The American Chemical Society (ACS) has named Room 337 in Rice's Space Science Building, where Smalley and colleagues made the Nobel Prize-winning discovery of the buckminsterfullerene, as a National Historic Chemical Landmark. The honor will be formally bestowed at the Oct. 11 Bucky "Ball," part of the nanotechnology symposium that will serve as the centerpiece of Rice's Year of Nano.

The yearlong series of events celebrates the 25th anniversary of the buckyball discovery and Rice's stature as a worldwide center of nanotechnology.

With the ACS honor, Rice joins National Historic Chemical Landmarks in 24 other states. It will be the first such landmark in Texas.

"We are pleased and honored that the American Chemical Society has approved the buckyball discovery lab as a National Historic Chemical Landmark," said Wade Adams, director of Rice's Smalley Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology. "This designation recognizes the buckyball discovery as a seminal achievement not only for nanotechnology but for chemistry and science as a whole. The buckyball now joins the historic ranks of chemical discoveries like penicillin, vitamin C, nylon and Scotch transparent tape."

Smalley, a University Professor and the Gene and Norman Hackerman Chair of Chemistry until his death in 2005, was part of the team that discovered the buckyball and kicked off the nanotechnology revolution 25 years ago.

The buckminsterfullerene, a perfect, soccer-ball-shaped molecule of 60 carbon atoms, is one of the earliest examples of the unique kinds of materials that can be produced through nanoscience. The buckyball's discovery in 1985 by Smalley and Robert Curl '54 of Rice and Harold Kroto, then of the University of Sussex and now at Florida State University, along with then-Rice graduate students James Heath and Sean O'Brien, began an era of nanotech research that continues to grow.

The Year of Nano will include a series of events throughout 2010 capped by the October symposium that will bring to campus some of the biggest names in carbon nanotechnology research. Curl, Kroto, Heath and O'Brien will talk about their discovery and the subsequent development of nanotechnology into the focal point of researchers around the world.

The symposium week begins Oct. 10 with the 10-10-10 Gala and will include the Bucky "Ball" at Rice Oct. 11. Both events will celebrate the history of nanotechnology at Rice and support the future of a field that has the potential to remake energy, medical care, materials science, transportation and more.

The Smalley Institute will hold a series of short courses in nanotechnology throughout the year and plans to celebrate the anniversary in more fanciful ways as well. The university will have a nano-themed vehicle in Houston's famous Art Car Parade in May, and the institute's Tuna Fest, one of the most popular campus gatherings of the year, will return this summer.

Lockheed Martin is the primary sponsor of the Year of Nano events. The company's involvement is a natural fit for Rice, Adams said. The institutions already partner in the Lockheed Martin Advanced Nanotechnology Center of Excellence at Rice, aka LANCER, through which researchers in academia tackle the high-tech industry's toughest problems.

For information about the Year of Nano, the symposium and associated events, visit


For more information, please click here

Copyright © Rice University

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.

Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

NREL Announces New Center Directors to lead R&D, Analysis Efforts September 30th, 2014

Yale University and Leica Microsystems Partner to Establish Microscopy Center of Excellence: Yale Welcomes Scientists to Participate in Core Facility Opening and Super- Resolution Workshops October 20 Through 31, 2014 September 30th, 2014

Speed at its limits September 30th, 2014

Research mimics brain cells to boost memory power September 30th, 2014


Yale University and Leica Microsystems Partner to Establish Microscopy Center of Excellence: Yale Welcomes Scientists to Participate in Core Facility Opening and Super- Resolution Workshops October 20 Through 31, 2014 September 30th, 2014

Rice launches Center for Quantum Materials: RCQM will immerse global visitors in cross-disciplinary research September 30th, 2014

Biosensors Get a Boost from Graphene Partnership: $5 Million Investment Supports Dozens of Jobs and Development of 300mm Fabrication Process and Wafer Transfer Facility September 18th, 2014

Malvern technology delivers Malvern reliability in multi-disciplinary lab at Queen Mary University London September 9th, 2014


Elsevier Publishes New Content on Graphene and Materials Science: Books Discuss Properties and Emerging Applications of Carbon Nanotubes, Graphene and Nanomaterials September 25th, 2014

Future flexible electronics based on carbon nanotubes: Study in Applied Physics Letters show how to improve nanotube transistor and circuit performance with fluoropolymers September 23rd, 2014

Nanotubes help healing hearts keep the beat: Rice University, Texas Children’s Hospital patch for defects enhances electrical connections between cells September 23rd, 2014

SouthWest NanoTechnologies (SWeNT) Receives NIST Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase 1 Award to Produce Greater than 99% Semiconducting Single-Wall Carbon Nanotubes September 19th, 2014


Park Systems Announces Outsourced Analytical Services Including AFM Surface Imaging, Data Analysis and Interpretation September 30th, 2014

Ad-REIC vaccine: A magic bullet for cancer treatment September 30th, 2014

New Topical Hemostatic Agent: Neutral Self-Assembling Peptide Hydrogel September 30th, 2014

Chemical interactions between silver nanoparticles and thiols: A comparison of mercaptohexanol again September 30th, 2014

The latest news from around the world, FREE

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

Nanotechnology Now Featured Books


The Hunger Project

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