Fullerenes from a Fulgurite

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Science  12 Mar 1993:
Vol. 259, Issue 5101, pp. 1599-1601
DOI: 10.1126/science.259.5101.1599


Peaks at 720 and 840 atomic mass units were identified by mass spectrometry in a sample extracted from a fulgurite, which is a glassy rock that forms where lightning strikes the ground. The peaks are interpreted as arising from C60 and C70 and the associated peaks as produced from other fullerenes. The intense conditions generated by the lightning not only melted the rock it struck and fused the associated soil but also allowed fullerenes to form, presumably from the organic debris in the soil.

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