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Bucky Balls and Tubes:
Fullerene Pieces of a Future Nanotechnology

Richard E. Smalley*

Rice University

This is an abstract for a talk to be given at the
Fifth Foresight Conference on Molecular Nanotechnology.
There will be a link from here to the full article when it is available on the web.


Much of the technological promise of carbon nanotubes derives from the very high degree of perfection of the single-wall nanotubes that are the subject of this symposium. In fact, to distinguish them from their more defective multiwalled cousins, we have begun to call single-wall nanotubes fullerene nanotubes, as a reminder of their definite structure, which is that of a fullerene (with opened or closed ends). The definiteness of their structure demands that these fullerene nanotubes be treated as the macromolecules they are—super-polymers of pure carbon, and further offers the possibility of deriving short lengths—fullerene capsules—which would rightly be considered molecules, each one precisely resembling the others. Obtaining fullerene capsules requires developing methods for purifying, cutting, and sorting by size and type raw fullerene nanotube material. Progress toward these goals will be presented and discussed in this seminar.

*Corresponding Address:
Leah Benard-Boggs, Assistant to Dr. R.E. Smalley
Telephone: (713)527-4845 or (713)527-8750 x3250
Fax Number: (713)285-5320
Rice University, Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology
6100 Main Street, MS-100, Houston, TX 77005-1892
RES Website:


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