Feeds

Boffins synthesise Bucky's baby brother

Carbon-50 made solid

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

A group of physical chemists have made carbon-50 molecules in a solid state for the first time. Previous attempts to synthesise the molecule have been successful, but only in the gaseous phase. The researchers describe it as the long-sought-after little brother of Carbon-60.

Carbon-50 is an interesting molecule because it is a non-standard fullerene, and should therefore have unusual properties. It could also pave the way for the creation of other low number fullerenes.

Standard fullerenes obey the isolated pentagon rule, or IPR. This says that the most stable arrangement is a pentagon surrounded by five hexagons. The most common standard fullerene, and the most widely known, is Carbon-60: the Bucky Ball. This was first created artificially in 1985. It is composed on pentagons and hexagons of carbon atoms arranged in a sphere, just like a football (or soccer ball for US readers).

Molecules with up to 500 carbon atoms have been made, and all obey the IPR. If you have fewer than 60 carbon atoms, however, the IPR cannot be satisfied. Until now, molecules with fewer than 60 carbon atoms have only been made in the gaseous phase.

The team, headed by Lan-Sun Zheng at Xiamen University and joined by researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing and Wuhan, used a graphite arc discharge technique to make the molecule. The Institute of Physics describes the method as follows:

"They added 0.013 atmospheres of carbon tetrachloride vapour to 0.395 atmospheres of helium in a sealed stainless steel vessel and then applied an electric field of 24 Volts.

After purifying around 90 grams of soot that contained carbon-50 chloride (C50Cl10), they obtained about 2 milligrams of C50Cl10 that was 99.5% pure. "

Xie says that carbon-50 could easily react with a variety of organic groups to form new compounds with interesting chemical and physical properties. It is composed of a central ball, with ten carbon-chlorine arms sticking out, making it potentially very reactive.

The work was orignially published in Science. (S-Y Xie et al. 2004 Science 304 699). ®

Related stories

NEC boffins create stable nanotube fab process
Aussie boffins discover fifth form of carbon
The fastest nanotube in the west

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
TRIANGULAR orbits will help Rosetta to get up close with Comet 67P
Probe will be just 10km from Space Duck in October
ANU boffins demo 'tractor beam' in water
The current state of the art, apparently
China to test recoverable moon orbiter
I'll have some rocks and a moon cheese pizza please, home delivery
NASA's rock'n'roll shock: ROLLING STONE FOUND ON MARS
No sign of Ziggy Stardust and his band
What does a flashmob of 1,024 robots look like? Just like this
Sorry, Harvard, did you say kilobots or KILLER BOTS?
Why your mum was WRONG about whiffy tattooed people
They're a future source of RENEWABLE ENERGY
Vulture 2 spaceplane autopilot brain surgery a total success
LOHAN slips into some sexy bespoke mission parameters
Another step forward for diamond-based quantum computers
Square cut or pear-shaped, these qubits don't lose their shape
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.