Major Uses of a Fullerene that Would Amaze You

If you were in school and hated the subjected Chemistry, it’s probably because there were a lot of compounds with very difficult names to memorize. And not to forget about the chemical reactions, the equations, etc. Whether you quite learning Chemistry or not, you would definitely have learned about the carbon atoms and the numerous applications it has and the significant role it has to play in the creation or development of other particles. Having said that, you must have heard about Buckyballs. Buckyballs are also known as Fullerenes. Buckyballs were among the first of the nanoparticles that were discovered by a group of three researchers namely: Harry Kroto, Richard Smalley and Robert Curl.

Soon after the discovery made by the trio researchers, there were several compounds that were discovered by other researchers. One such compound is the Buckminster Fullerene; an allotrope of the nanoparticle that was initially discovered by the three researchers. As the name would suggest, this compound was discovered by and named after an American architect with the same name: Buckminster Fuller. The name was given so, since the compound resembled the geodesic dome which he himself designed.

Most of the chemical compounds that have been discovered by various scientists have been put to use in several fields; from medical to industrial. The Buckyballs or Fullerenes, too have several uses. Some of these would undoubtedly blow off your mind.


  • Did you know that Buckyballs make excellent antioxidants?

The large number of conjugated double bonds that make up these compounds and their high affinity for electrons make them excellent antioxidants. Since these Buckyballs can react with a number of radicals before being used up completely, they are popularly known as the “world’s most radical scavengers” or otherwise, as “radical sponge”.

  • Their antiviral properties are efficiently been put to use in the medical field

The Buckyball molecule has antiviral properties that helps in suppressing the replication of the HIV virus and thus slow down the deadly AIDS.

  • Can be used to create solar cells

We all know that solar cells are an efficient answer to harvesting electricity. But we also know that making solar cells today is a costly process and so is not one that is affordable to all. But now with a Fullerene, researchers have found a way to create solar cells that are more economical and lightweight in nature.

  • Other significant uses of the Buckyballs are for hydrogen gas storage, drug and Gene delivery, in the manufacture of protective eye wear, etc.

The usage of Buckyballs or a Fullerene is limitless; with researchers finding new ways to efficiently harness each of their properties for human use in various industries.

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