Robert Curl Jr.

The Strange Chemistry of Elemental Carbon


Abstract

Over the last twenty years, several kinds of interesting carbon structures have been found: fullerenes and endohedral fullerenes, onions, carbon nanotubes and related structures, and other structures somewhat difficult to classify. Different conditions are required to form each of these structural motifs. Finding sound chemical mechanisms for the formation of these various structures presents a severe challenge to chemists.

Precise control over the mix of products is even more challenging. This cornucopia of structures ought to result in many new practical applications, but finding these applications is yet another major challenge to chemists and inventors. This talk will survey these carbon structures and the issues just raised.


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