Research NewsChemistry

Molecule Promises a Better Buckyball

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Science  03 May 1996:
Vol. 272, Issue 5262, pp. 648
DOI: 10.1126/science.272.5262.648


Some of the bloom is off the buckyball—the soccerball-shaped carbon molecule that has been all the rage for the past 5 years. Because buckyballs are made in the flash of an electric arc, with no chance to manipulate their structure as they form, they are difficult to modify for specific purposes, such as creating new catalysts or electronic materials. A strategy for making buckyball-like molecules by the techniques of synthetic chemistry, however, may touch off a new ball game. The starting ingredient is corannulene, a basket-shaped molecule that can be covered to make a molecular cavity like that of a buckyball.