We Can Figure This Out.org
Virtual Lab: Nanocarbon - From Graphene to Buckyballs
University of Virginia
© 2003-Present, John C. Bean
Finally, five and six member carbon rings can be joined together to form spheres of C60.

C60 is studied for its unique electrical and mechanical properties, including its ability to serve as a near invulnerable cage enclosing other molecules (a possibly safe way of introducing otherwise toxic chemicals into the human body).

This structure is also called a "Buckyball" or a "Buckminster Fullerene" after the architect and futurist Buckminster Fuller. He designed buildings using similar assemblies of polygonal plates. Today these hugely larger buildings are most often used as enclosures for rotating radar antennas.

If you want to learn more about this subject, take a look at our Nanoscience class website (link) including its lecture note set on Molecular Self-Assembly (link).

(Rotate & zoom the model using mouse or trackpad)
Last Scene