chapter  Chapter 18
7 Pages

Fullerenes

WithFranco Cataldo

Fullerenes can be produced also in large quantities in certain types of laminar flames starting from benzene combustion. The industrial production of fullerenes is already started in Japan some year ago. Endohedral fullerenes were prepared by inserting, for example, a metal atom inside the fullerene cage. Fullerenes in their crystalline powder form can be considered non-toxic. Further emerging fields of fullerenes applications are reviewed elsewhere. Although fullerenes are not naturally-occurring in the Earth, they are widespread in the Universe and at present C60 and C70 are the largest organic molecules known to exist in the space to date. Since fullerenes are highly reactive with atomic hydrogen, it is thought that the hydrogenated fullerenes, called fulleranes, should be present in space and indeed some preliminary hint about the possible detection of fulleranes were reported.