Fullerenes are one of the eight allotropes of Carbon. The eight Allotropes of carbon are
- C-60 Fullerene
- C-540 Fullerene
- Amorphous Carbon
- Carbon Nanotubes
The fullerenes, discovered in 1985 by researchers at Rice University, are a family of carbon allotropes named after Buckminster Fuller. These are composed entirely of carbon, in the form of a hollow sphere, ellipsoid, or tube shapes. They resembles in structure to graphite with a difference that Fullerene contain pentagonal (or sometimes heptagonal) rings that prevent the sheet from being planar like graphite. It was designated as another carbon allotrope. Fullerenes are stable, but less reactive in nature and are soluble in solvents like toluene, benzene, chloroform, carbon disulfide etc. Cylindrical fullerenes are known as carbon nanotubes and spherical ones are called bucky balls. Fullerenes are used in many applications such materials science, electronics, and nanotechnology (nanotubes, megatubes, polymers, nano onions) and fullerene rings etc.