What is A buckyball

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					                 What is A buckyball
A buckyball is a spherical or ellipsoidal cage made up of covalently
bonded carbon atoms.              It             is            a fullerene,
another allotrope (arrangement) of carbon, alongside graphite and
diamond. C60 is the first fullerene discovered, and is known as
buckminsterfullerene,            after              architect Buckminster
Fuller's geodesic domes, which the molecule resembles.Fullerenes,
including the buckyball, are extremely strong but relatively expensive
to produce and purify. Another variety of fullerenes are nanotubes,
which are similar to buckyballs but cylindrical rather than spherical.
Fullerenes were first discovered in 1985 by Harold Kroto, James
Heath, Sean O'Brien, Robert Curl and Richard Smalley in molecular
beam experiments. Later, they were observed in common places
where carbon is found, such as candle soot. Kroto, Curl, and Smalley
were ultimately awarded the 1996 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their
work with fullerenes.

Buckyballs come in all sizes. The smallest buckyball consists of 20
carbon atoms, and one of the largest has 540, though even larger
variants are likely to be discovered or manufactured. The most
frequently encountered buckyballs have 60 or 70 carbon atoms.

Because buckyballs form large cages, other atoms sometimes get
trapped inside them. Evidence for an asteroid impact at the end of the
Permian era was found by analyzing noble gases trapped in this way.




Fullerenes are the only allotrope of carbon that can be dissolved in
liquids, and even then, only in small quantities. A solution of pure
fullerene is purple in color. Although there have been questions about
the safety of the buckyball to marine animals, it is known that
fullerenes are largely inert and the evidence against their reactivity is
much higher than that in favor of it.
There exist metallofullerenes which combine together metallic ions
with carbon atoms. Other variants are also possible. Research in this
area is just beginning.

The most common production method for buckyballs is to situate a
block of graphite between two electrodes and send a charge through
the block. The resulting plasma arc causes the creation of many
fullerenes, which must then be isolated from the surrounding soot.

				
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