Buckminsterfullerene (buckyballs) are sphericall fullerence, molecules of carbon in the form of a hollow sphere. Carbon Nanotube are also members of the fullerene structural family, they are long, hollow structure with walls formed by carbon.
The first fullerene molecule to be discovered by Harold Kroto, James R. Heath, Sean O’Brien, Robert Curl and Richard Smalley at Rice Univervsity. They named it Buckminster Fuller out of repect to Fuller’s geodesic domes that it resembles.
Kroto, Curl and Smalley were awarded the 1996 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their roles in the discovery of buckminsterfullerene.
The unique structure results in following extraordinary characters,
– high tensile strength,
– high electrical conductivity,
– high ductility,
– high heat conductivity,
A popular use in the field of space technology is to produce high-tensile carbon cables required for a space elevator.