Buckyballs (Carbo Fullerenum)
Proving date: 2002
Proving completed by: Misha Norland, Peter Fraser & The School of Homeopathy
Common name : Buckyballs
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About Carbon Fullerene (Buckminsterfullerene –Bucky Balls)
A fullerence is a carbon molecule, is based on a hollow sphere, ellipsoid, tube and a variety of other shapes. Spherical fullerenes are also known as ‘Bucky balls’. Fullerenes are similar in structure to graphite which is made of stacked grapheme sheets linked of hexagonal rings. The first fullerene molecule was buckminsterfullerene discovered and prepared in 1985 at the rice university in Texas. The name came from Buckminster Fuller an American architect whose geodesic domes it resembles.
The Bucky ball is a fused caged ring structure molecule with the formula C60, it is made of twenty hexagons and twelve pentagons, with a carbon atom at each vertex, polygon and a bond along each polygon edge. Buckminsterfullerene is the most common naturally occurring fullerene, it can be found in small quantities of soot. Solid and gaseous forms of this molecule have been detected in space.
Predication of Bucky ball molecule appeared between 1960-1970 but this went unnoticed. In 1970 Harry Kroto and David Walton led a group study at the University of Sussex into the chemistry of unsaturated carbon configurations. At the Rice University in the 1980’s Richard Smalley and Bob Curl developed a technique to isolate three substances. Using lasers vaporization from a suitable target they produced a clusters of atoms. Krotos discovered that by using graphite, any carbon chains that were formed could be studied. By 1985 using the laser evaporation technique on graphite they discovered Cn clusters of C60 and C70.
They used a solid disk of graphite, where they vaporized Carbon using a laser beam, this created hot plasma that could be passed through a stream of high- density helium gas. The carbon species was cooled and ionized creating the formation of clusters. These clusters ranged in different molecular masses. In addition, Kroto and Smalley found predominance in a C60 cluster that could be enhanced further, if the plasma could be left to react longer. This is where they discovered the C60 molecule formed the cage like structure.
In further developments the versatility of fullerence molecules has increased the research options into exploring their properties. The intriguing part into the molecule is the large internal space; the atoms of the different elements may be placed inside the molecular cage formed by the carbon atoms.
C60 is an extremely stable molecule that can with stand high temperature and pressures, the exposed surface of the structure and can react selectively with other species while keeping in spherical geometry, atoms and other small molecule can remain trapped within the C60 molecule without reacting. The fullerene molecules are soluble in aromatic solvents; however, they are not soluble in water. The solutions of C60 has a deep purple colour that leaves a brown residue during the evaporation process. The colour change is due to a narrow energy due to the width band of the molecular levels. Individual molecules transmit blue and red light producing the purple colour. During the drying stage intermolecular interaction can result in an overlap of energy bands, eliminating the blue light, causing the purple to brown colour change. C60 crystallises with some solvents.
In addition, solid Buckminster molecules stick together. During low temperatures the molecules can be locked against rotation. When heated they will start to rotate at -20c, resulting in the first phase transition to a face centred cubic structure. C60 solid is as soft as graphite, but when compressed its volume transforms into a hard form of diamond. Their film and solution have strong non-linear properties, especially their optical absorption increasing with light intensity.
Beam-experiments conducted between 1985-90 provided more evidence for the stability of C60, in turn supporting the closed cage structural theory and predicting some of the bulk properties such a molecule would have. Around this time, intense theoretical group theory activity also predicted that C60 should have only four IR active vibrational bands, on account of its icosahedral symmetry.
In 1989, the Heidelberg/Tucson group, led by physicists Wolfgang Krätschmer and Donald Huffman had observed unusual IR and UV features in thin carbon films produced by arc-processed graphite rods. Among other features, the IR spectra showed four discrete bands in close agreement to those proposed for C60.
Scientists were able to identify that the first time the molecule responsible for the absorption of starlight in space, positively charges as buckminsterfullerene.
Astronomers discovered over 100 years ago, the spectrum of starlight arrived on earth with dark gaps. Ever since they had been trying to identify which type of matter was absorbing the light. They had suspected molecules and gaseous ions based on carbon. Buckminsterfullerene fitted the bill as such a molecule with its structure.
Bucky balls can be used to trap radicals that a generated during an allergic reaction, blocking the inflammation that results from an allergic reaction. The antioxidant properties of bucky balls may be able to fight the deterioration of motor function due to multiple sclerosis. In 1999 results published stated that fullerenes could be used as biological antioxidants, this property was based on that fullerenes possess a large amount of conjugated double bonds and low lying molecular orbit, which can take up an electron, making its attack on radical species possible. Thirty-four methyl radicals have been added onto a single C60 molecule, this process appears to catalytic. This means that the fullerene can react with superoxide’s, without being consumed. Due to the nature of this they are to be considered the most efficient radical scavenger.
Using fullerenes as medical antioxidants is due to their ability to localize within a cell to mitochondria and other cell compartment sites, where in diseased states, the production of radicals takes place.
Fullerenes are used for cytoprotective action against UVA irradiation. The radiation generates reactive oxygen species, which affects human skin cells. The radical nature of soluble fullerene was utilised to protect human cells against oxidative stress. The ability for the radical to enter human skin epidermis towards its stability of oxidative decomposition means that it is more reliable than Vitamin C, enables in the prevention of skin-injuries and aging.
Carbon Dioxide remained steady for thousands of years before the industrial revolution. Natural CO2 is generated through natural processes and absorbed by others. Natural land and ocean carbon remains in balance this has been measured and is shown through historic levels of c02 in the atmosphere both directly and indirectly.
However, more C02 has been released form outside of the natural carbon cycle due to the burning of fossil fuels. The land and ocean cannot absorb this extra carbon and it remains in our atmosphere as a consequence C02 is at its highest level. The human emissions of C02 has upset the balance of the natural carbon cycle. Man made C02 has increased the atmospheric levels by a third since the pre-industrial era, thus creating artificial forcing of global temperatures, and warming the planet.
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Going to die
Time and space confusion
Behind a Screen
Names: IUPAC name
Buckyball; Fullerene-C60; fullerene
CAS Registry Number :
Beilstein Reference : 5901022
ChEBI : CHEBI:33128
ChemSpider : 110185
PubChem : 123591
Chemical formula : C60
Molar mass : 720.66 g·mol−1
Appearance : Dark needle-like crystals
Density : 1.65 g/cm3
Buckyballs are a third, pure form of Carbon. They were recently discovered even though they have always been around and they have remarkable qualities that mean they will probably be central to many future technologies and may have been responsible for bringing primitive complex molecules to Earth. All these factors make it a substance with the promise of important therapeutic uses.