Figure I12

An artistic representation of buckminsterfullerene C60.

homage to the inherent duality of architecture in seeking structures that are both functional and artistic. Named after R. Buckminster Fuller, the architect most famous for developing the ideas of geodesic domes, the C60 molecule is a functional structure that is also striking in its artistic beauty (Figure I.12).

The basic C60 structure is still often referred to informally as a "bucky-ball" after the nickname by which Buckminster Fuller was known to his close associates, "Bucky." In many ways, the buckyball remains an archetype for nanotechnology itself, being the basis for the development of numerous technical ideas in nanotechnology. It also seems that its persistent archetypal status may well be a result of the way that it combines aesthetics with function—there are aspects of nanotechnology that are very much like large-scale architecture in embracing a duality of functionality and artistry.

The more generic term "fullerene " is, of course, a clipped form of "buckminsterfullerene." It refers to a wide variety of structures that may be formed from carbon atoms, including both closed structures like that shown in Figure I.13 and tubular structures like that shown in Figure I.14. These structures also

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