Copyright © The Nobel Foundation 1997. We thank the Nobel Foundation, Stockholm, for permission to print this lecture.
Dawn of Fullerenes: Conjecture and Experiment (Nobel Lecture)†
Article first published online: 22 DEC 2003
Copyright © 1997 by VCH Verlagsgesellschaft mbH, Germany
Angewandte Chemie International Edition in English
Volume 36, Issue 15, pages 1566–1576, August 18, 1997
How to Cite
Curl, R. F. (1997), Dawn of Fullerenes: Conjecture and Experiment (Nobel Lecture). Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. Engl., 36: 1566–1576. doi: 10.1002/anie.199715661
- Issue published online: 22 DEC 2003
- Article first published online: 22 DEC 2003
- Manuscript Received: 11 FEB 1997
- Carbon allotropes;
- Nobel lecture
Although counterintuitive, the conjecture that high-symmetry, low-entropy truncated icosahedron C60 spontaneously forms out of the chaos of condensing carbon vapor proved to be true. The observation that the cluster of 60 carbon atoms is singularly chemically unreactive, as exemplified by its flagpole prominence in mass spectra, could be explained only by this hypothesis. This resulted in more conjecture, some of which proved correct, whereas others relating C60 to diffuse interstellar bonds and soot formation remain speculative. Even if of questionable validity, these speculations have played a useful role in driving chemists to think about the formation of fullerenes and other carbon morphologies.