Properties of fullerene

Properties of fullerene
Written by Stephen King

There are lots of properties of fullerenes that owe to its variety of usage. It is used widely to bind antibiotics to it and target bacteria and even kill cancer causing cells. It has lots of uses in heat resistance, nanotechnology and superconductivity too. In order to make fullerenes a current is passed between two graphite electrodes when the atmosphere is inert. The fullerenes can be isolated from the sooty residue which is left after the electrodes cools down. You can check about the complete properties of fullerenes at

Properties of fullerenes:

These are some of the most common properties of fullerenes that are associated with its uses.

  • Aromaticity: the reactivity of fullerenes can be increased by attaching active groups to the fullerene’s surface. But superaromaticity is not exhibited by buckminsterfullerene because the electrons present in the hexagonal rings do not delocalize in the complete molecule. Other spherical fullerene which contains n atoms of carbon has n pi bonding electrons that are free to delocalize. According to the quantum mechanics the mechanical structure of a single atom which has a stable filled shell when n is twice the value of a perfect square number. This is according to the Huckel’s rule. C60 present in water tends to become an anion after picking up two more electrons.
  • Chemistry: usually fullerenes are stable in their chemical structure, but they are not completely unreactive. They have sp2 hybridized atoms of carbon which have minimum energy and are commonly found in planar graphite. These are bent in order to form a tube or closed sphere that has an angle strain. Fullerenes have a characteristic electrophilic addition because of which they tend to be more stable. You can easily trap other atoms inside of fullerenes and then inclusion compounds can be formed that are known as endohedral fullerenes. A good example of this type of fullerene is the egg-shaped fullerene that does not have the isolated pentagonal structure. Metallofullerene uses the rhonditic steel process and was the first commercially used buckyball.


  • Solubility: C60 is present in virgin olive oil and gives a typical purple color to the solution. Fullerenes are sparingly soluble when added to many solvents. Most common products that act as solvents for fullerenes are aromatics like tolune and others such as carbon disulfide. Pure buckminsterfullerene containing solutions have a deep purple color while that of c70 have deep reddish brown color. Other fullerenes can produce solutions of a variety of colors. Fullerenes are the unique allotropes of carbon which gets dissolved in other solvents at room temperature.

These are some of the most common characteristics and properties which can be used to identify fullerenes. For more information you can visit

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Stephen King