We have all heard of the traditional forms of elemental carbon, i.e. graphite and diamond, but in 1996 Sir Harry Kroto, Robert F. Curl, Jr and Richard E. Smally were awarded the Nobel prize for chemistry due to the discovery of C60. C60 is made up of 60 carbons forming a 'football' like shape with hexagonal and pentagonal panels. The structure is shown below,
C60 got the name Buckminsterfullerene or 'buckyball' due to the architect R. Buchminster Fuller. He designed the building below for the 1967 World Exhibition in Montreal., and it is made up of hexagons and a small number of pentagons to create a curved surface. This led to the clue that C60 was made up 12 pentagons and 20 hexagons with carbon atoms at each corner.
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