Fullerene

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A fullerene is any molecule composed entirely of carbon, in the form of a hollow sphere, ellipsoid, or tube. Spherical fullerenes are also called buckyballs, and they resemble the balls used in association football. Cylindrical ones are called carbon nanotubes or buckytubes. They are usually made in the form of a hollow ball or tube. The fullerene was found in 1985 by Robert Curl, Harold Kroto and Richard Smalley at the University of Sussex and Rice University, and was named after Buckminster Fuller because his famous Geodesic domes are similar in shape.

Fullerenes are made by the heating of graphite in an electric arc in the presence of inert gases such as helium or argon.