What is a buckyball?

A buckyball or fullerene is a very newly found allotrope of carbon. Buckyball is a carbon molecule structure (C60) shaped like a hollow sphere. Also called fullerene (buckminsterfullerene), it is composed of carbon atoms. Spherical fullerenes are called buckyballs whereas cylindrical ones are called buckytubes. Harold Kroto, Richard Smalley, James Heath and Robert Curl discovered (C60) at Rice University. It was named after architect Richard Buckminster Fuller and discovered in 1985. Google is also celebrating buckyball’s 25th anniversary by honoring it in an interactive Google Doodle on Google’s homepage.

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