What are fullerenes? Explain the structure of C60 molecule.

Asked by Topperlearning User | 31st May, 2016, 01:32: PM

Expert Answer:

  • A new family of carbon allotropes consisting of cluster of carbon atoms such as C32 , C50 , C60 , C70 , C84 etc.  are called fullerenes.
  • Fullerenes are made by heating of graphite in an electric arc in the presence of inert gases such as helium or argon.
  • Among these the allotrope having the molecular formula C60 is important. It is called Buckminster fullerene.
  • C60 molecule is a perfect sphere and looks like a soccer ball and is also popularly known as bucky-ball.
  • It contains twenty six- membered rings and twelve five membered rings.
  • A six membered ring is fused with six or five membered rings but a five membered ring can only fuse with six membered rings.
  • All the carbon atoms are equal and they undergo sp2 hybridisation.
  • Each carbon atom forms three sigma bonds with other three carbon atoms.
  • The remaining electron at each carbon is delocalised in molecular orbitals, which in turn give aromatic character to molecule.
  • This ball shaped molecule has 60 vertices and each one is occupied by one carbon atom and it also contains both single and double bonds.




Answered by  | 31st May, 2016, 03:32: PM