Talk:Fullerene/Archive 1

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The smallest fullerene which does not contain any bordering pentagons (which is destabilizing - see pentalene?) is C60, and it is also the best known.

What does the phrase does not contain any bordering pentagons mean? Buckyballs contain pentagonal carbon rings. And what's the deal with calling them destabilizing --destabilizing compared to what? Are you thinking of the aromatic stabilization of benzene's six-member ring? According to this, the smallest fullerene known is C20 [1]

Finally, calling C60 the "best known" seems kind of subjective, though it may be true. I think the fact that it might thethe best known or earliest discovered is an interesting comment on the culture of science, perhaps the role of aesthetic imagination and spectroscopic symmetry. -- dja

The C60 fullerene has a mollecular shape which is comparable to that of a Soccer ball, in that the pentagonal sections deform, distort or destabalize an otherwise flat ridgid structure into a curved or spherical shape.
C60 fullerenes may be the "Best known" of the fullerenes as there has been a quite considerable research effort in their development and their application especialy in the construction of carbon nanotubes, medical applications and materials such as fullerite (a C60 based man-made material proported to be harder than diamond). -- ash
I changed the text according to most of the above. The comment that neighboring pentagons are destabilizing I left in, though. It means pretty much the opposite of stabilization as applied to benzene, namely that the whole structure is considerably less stable (higher energy) than one would otherwise expect, in this case thanks to bond angle strain. I think this is fairly common usage, but if you think you have a better way of saying the same feel free to change it. -- JG
The clarification about the pentagonal rings not sharing an edge is much better, thank you. The stabilization of benze is attributed to aromaticity, though, which is a concept hard (at least for me) to apply in the context of fullerenes and which, in any case, doesn't seem to be the same thing as bond angle strain. I guess that means I'll have to leave it be, for now.  ;-) -- dja
I just meant that stabilization and destabilization are opposing concepts, not that the causes are the same here. You're right, benzene is stabilized by aromaticity, and fullerenes are too. Bond strain is a different effect. --JG :)
I'm not a chemist, came to this article because my 14 year old son is interested. Offering comment here because this is unclear to me:
Buckminsterfullerene (IUPAC name (C60-Ih)[5,6]fullerene) is the smallest fullerene in which no two pentagons share an edge (which can be destabilizing — see pentalene).
My response after reading this: WHAT can be destabilizing? "Sharing an edge"? Or, "No two pentagons sharing an edge"? Or being "the smallest fullerene"? The sentence is terribly obtuse — to the layman, at least. Richard Myers 23:10, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
The sentence is a bit ambiguous and could be improved. The answer is that having pentagons sharing an edge can be destabilizing. Buckminsterfullerene is stable, and also it is the smallest fullerene that is "stable enough", precisely because it is the smallest fullerene that can be build without having pentagons sharing an edge. Itub 09:41, 5 March 2007 (UTC)


I removed the words prevent bioterrorism from the section on medical uses of fullerenes, for two reasons. First, unless this technique can prevent all disease, I don't see how it can prevent bioterrorism. Second, even if the wording were toned down to something like help fight bioterrorism, it seems overly sensationalistic to mention it. It should be clear that fighting disease is one way of fighting bioterrorism; I don't see any need to mention it specifically here. (For instance, there is no mention of bioterrorism in the penicillin page.) -- Cwitty

There's no mention of there uses in the article.


The terms "buckyball" and "buckytube" are used frequently enought that they deserve their place in Wikipedia's index. So I'm creating a page for each, and it will redirect here. In order to maintain the preferred practices with regard to such redirect pages, I'm also making sure that "buckyball" and "buckytube" are mentioned in the first paragraph, so that readers know they've found the right place.

Also, both terms have come to be used commonly enough that I don't think it is appropriate to suggest that they are used so in a joking way. Google either one and you'll find plenty of serious articles on the topic.

updated to include plane as the possible forms, see [2]. linked from here [3]. my first edit, hope i'm doing the right thing, if not, plz, let me know -- User:TrevorP


The sentence on graphene as a fullerene is incorrect. This may have been taken from an article by the BBC, who got it wrong (why do journalists always seem to get things wrong when it comes to chemistry?). Graphene molecules are planar, and are essentially small fragments of single sheets of graphite. In fullerenes, however, the presence of pentagonal rings allow for curvature, so they curve back around on themselves to form a hollow enclosure. Graphenes do not do this, which is why they were given their own name instead of being called fullerenes. I have taken the liberty of removing the incorrect sentence. -- dryguy

Thanks - I thought that entry looked odd. Graphite, as layers of sheets of hexagons, has been known for quite a while. -- Solipsist 14:04, 22 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I have likewise modified the first sentence to remove rings and planes from the definition. True, there are all-carbon molecules which are rings, and some (nearly) all carbon molecules which are planes, but neither rings nor planes are hollow enclosures. --dryguy 03:29, 1 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Graphene is not even considered an allotrope of carbon because it is essentially 2 dimensional. Graphite is, because graphite is a 3 dimensional arrangement of graphene. Graphene is most definitely NOT a type of fullerene; only nanospheres and nanotubes fall into that category (organic and inorganic both, they were named because their structure resembles that of a geodesic sphere which bucky was famous for). -- AeoniosHaplo 21:45, 13 March 2007 (UTC)


Jim Heath and Sean O'Brian were from Rice. The last edit makes this unclear. Also, I really don't see what was accomplished by rearranging the names. I'm reverting to the previous edit, but I'm open to hear why you think it needed changing. --dryguy 03:26, 25 Jan 2005 (UTC)

The link to Jim Heath (the son of the big band leader Ted Heath) looks wrong to me. --JohnBates 07:13, 9 July 2006 (UTC)

Stucture image

In chemical structure diagrams, colors are often used to indicate the identity of atoms in the drawing. The practice is so common that there are even standards for the color used for some atoms (carbon = grey, oxygen = red, nitrogen = blue, etc.). For this reason, the changes to make the structure in the C60 figure multi-colored incorrectly imply that C60 contains elements other than carbon, which is not true. I'm reverting to the previous edit. --dryguy 12:21, 2 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Sadly, that image does not meet Wikipedia's copyright requirements, so it had to go. A desaturated version of the replacement is up. In the future, please check an image's status before including it. In this case, a more appropriate action would have been to remove the image until the modification could be made. iMeowbot~Mw 17:29, 2 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Why C60 is the most well known

Regarding the above comment, C60 is the "best known" because it is the most widely studied. This mostly has to do with the fact that C60 is essentially the only fullerene with interesting (read: useful) chemical properties. For example, the high symmetry of the C60 molecule allows it to accept up to six electrons per molecule with very little energy lost to bond-reorganization (it has a low reorganization energy associated with reduction). This property is almost entirely unique to C60 and it allows C60 to accept electrons and then readily pass them another molecule, which is the basis for organic photovolatic technology.

Anyway, the (scientific) literature is rife with C60 and I think "best known" could simply be rephrased "best studied" and added back in as relavent information. Fearofcarpet 22:46, 17 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Some comment triggered by health related article

I did admire this post. [4] It may also be worth to watch out for the nano result coming out next week as the following post claim. [5]


Please see the talk page on nanotubes, where there is some discussion about whether the opening definition of fullerene is correct. There is some concern that "fullerene" strictly refers to spherical closed-cage carbon molecules that have exactly 12 pentagons, which excludes from its definition the nanotubes. Thus nanotubes would be distinct (and considered another allotrope?). In loose speaking, many chemists will speak of "the fullerenes" and include carbon nanotubes, but this isn't necessarily following the strict definitions. Again, refer to the link and associated evidence, and see what you think. Kebes 22:11, 10 May 2005 (UTC)

Picture of C70?

Does anyone have a picture of C70, the egg shaped fullerene? -Hmib 00:34, 9 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Here's a site [6] -corky842

Harder than Diamond?

Is the Fullerene harder than diamond? And what is a fullerene? C60 or any spherical completely carbon substance? Anyone knows the answer?


No, fulerenes are not hard at all. They are mostly in form of black powder, soluble in some organic solvents such as toluene (C60 forms purple solution). There are many "types" of fullerenes, buckminsterfullerene (C60) is just one of them, but is the most stable and symmetric, it is the fist member of this familyto be prepared. Mykhal 15:35, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Maybe the poster means this [7]? Also, a list of fullerenes would be nice... Samohyl Jan 07:50, 30 August 2005 (UTC)
A list of fullerenes? What would that include? There is an infinite number of them. Refer to the mathematical section for some examples of how many there are. Sdaug 08:01, 24 February 2006 (UTC)
I believe the source for saying that bucky balls are harder than diamond is not the best source (the actual paper would be a better source), as for the statement being made, from what I understand from reading the articles, buckminsterfullerenes (bucky balls) are used to make the aggregated diamond nanorods (ADNR) when 20GPa and 2500K were applied to these C60 molecules by the French and German researchers, as Samohyl suggested.Imnowei (talk) 04:49, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

Fullerenes in Humour/Fiction

I moved this here because these sections tend to grow out of control on the main page, and detract from the topic. DV8 2XL 01:31, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

  • This is a bad idea, this section does belong in the Fullerene article (wiki is not an ordinary encyclopedia) or at least given it's own article with a SF category. Side note: Chemistry Wiki is imploding at the moment, more material deleted than contributions made. This is not the way to go forward V8rik 15:25, 26 October 2005 (UTC)
Too many time I have seen this type of section get so large that it becomes the major part of the article; a huge list looking more like a Google search for "topic +fiction" than anything that adds to the understanding of topic itself. DV8 2XL 16:33, 26 October 2005 (UTC)
  • I agree with DV8 2XL. The fullerene article should be about fullerenes in the real world, not about fictional representations of fullerenes. Maybe this stuff can go somewhere, but please not in the main fullerene article. People come here to read about chemistry, not science fiction. Ed Sanville 01:11, 2 November 2005 (UTC)

In New Scientist there used to be a weekly column called Daedelus written by David Jones, which contained humourous descriptions of unlikely technologies. In 1966 the columnist included a description of the C60 and other forms of graphite. This was meant as pure entertainment.

Also in the New Scientist magazine, a free book was enclosed entitled, "100 Things to Do Before You Die" and one of which was to kick a buckyball.

Science fiction writer Neal Stephenson uses buckyballs as nanotechnological containers in his 1995 cyberpunk/postcyberpunk novel The Diamond Age. Buckyballs show up in Green Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson as a result of the fall of the first space elevator onto the surface of Mars.

In the Walt Disney film, Flubber, the formula and molecular structure of the Flubber was modeled after buckminsterfullerene.

In the Global television series ReGenesis, buckyballs are the primary component of a HazMat suit produced by government contractor, Shining Armor.

  • I think this can be put back into the main article... It's been years & nothing's been added to the "In Fiction" list. Rayne 27 February 2008 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Mathematics of Fullerenes

This section previously implied that Fullerene was also a mathematical term for a polyhedron consistign of hexagons and pentagons. I belive this is incorrect, the term refers only to carbon molecues which have this structure, not to abstract polyhedra. I have made the needed changes. I have also cited the specific Euler formula F - E + V = 2, as Euler formula is a highly ambigious term. DES (talk) 02:09, 5 November 2005 (UTC)

I edited this section to remove the term "rapid" from describing the growth with increasing n. There are many different types of structures that grow much more rapidly than fullerenes. Sdaug 07:56, 24 February 2006 (UTC)