Bucky Ball (Fullerene)- Allotrope of Carbon

Bucky Ball Definition:

Bucky ball is defined as the hollow spherical molecule composed of a large number of carbon atoms.

Bucky Ball (Fullerene) Structure:

 Fullerenes are molecules composed entirely of carbon atoms. They resemble graphite but besides hexagonal carbon rings also have pentagonal carbon rings. Fullerenes are hollow spheres, ellipsoid, tubes (nanotube), etc.

The spherical fullerenes are called Bucky Balls. The name is given to honor Richard Buckminster Fuller (an architect) who developed geodesic domes and the shape of C60 Bucky Ball is similar to that sort of dome. 

buckyball structure

Bucky Ball (Fullerene) Discovery:

The first fullerene was discovered in 1885 by Herold Kroto, James Heath, Sean O’Brion, Robert Curl and Richard Smalley for which they were awarded the Noble Prize.

Smallest Bucky Ball is C20, higher members include C60, C70, C76, C84, but the most common is C60.

C60 consists of 12 pentagons and 20 hexagons and its shape is of football.

C70 has the shape of a rugby ball. Recently it is discovered that they are also present in outer space.

Bucky ball ( An allotropic form of Carbon):

Thus now we can say carbon has four allotropes


1. Graphite

2. Diamond,


4. Amorphous carbon.

Fullerenes are organic due to the following properties:

(i) They have a functional group of alkenes

(ii) They are combustible.

(iii) They are soluble in organic solvents.

The double bonds in Buckyballs are localized and no conjugation in them.

If Bucky balls are doped with potassium or cesium they become supper conductors.

Recommended videos:

Diamond and Graphite allotropes of Carbon ( in Urdu / Hindi)
Allotropy and Polymorphism ( in Urdu / Hindi)

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