Thursday, December 13, 2007

Shrink-Wrapped Bucky Balls?

While looking through Sandia's homepage, I came across a recent discovery by one of their researchers. Jianyu Huang claims to have been the first to collect in situ experimental observations of a fullerene being formed. By heating single atom-thick layers of carbon so they bend into nanobowls, the carbon atoms continue to pile on until a "mega-fullerene" is formed. Contnued heat "shrink-wraps" this strucutre into a more stable C60 atom. Sandia theorizes that this may pave the way for a way to mass produce fullerenes. Of curious note is the life story of Huang, being raised in a rural Chinese villiage:

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