What Does Fullerene Mean?

A fullerene is a type of carbon molecule with a particular
construction using physical shapes such as a sphere or tube. These molecules
may also feature hexagonal and pentagonal shapes. Fullerenes are useful in some
types of IT applications, notably, in the construction of nanotechnologies.


Techopedia Explains Fullerene

Various types of fullerenes include “buckyballs,” which are spherical. Cylindrical fullerenes are also called “buckytubes” or carbon nanotubes. One of the interesting properties of fullerenes is that they can be man-made, or found in nature, for instance, where the construction of natural organic elements such as graphite have sheets of carbon atoms arranged in hexagons.

By manipulating elements on a molecular level, scientists are able to build fullerenes such as carbon nanotubes for research and design for nanomaterials or other purposes. Other types of fullerenes include megatubes, which are larger than carbon nanotubes, and polymers formed under pressure, as well as individual spherical buckyballs linked via carbon chain.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.