Research NewsFullerenes

Trapped Buckyball Turns Up the Amp

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Science  21 Feb 1997:
Vol. 275, Issue 5303, pp. 1069
DOI: 10.1126/science.275.5303.1069a

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Using a scanning tunneling microscope (STM)—the probe with an atom-fine tip—a pair of European researchers made the accidental discovery that if you squeeze a soccer-ball-shaped fullerene molecule of 60 carbon atoms, its electrical resistance changes. The pair then constructed a circuit, incorporating the STM, which uses a single “buckyball” as an electromechanical amplifier.