Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of various cagelike, hollow molecules composed of hexagonal and pentagonal groups of atoms, and especially those formed from carbon, that constitute the third form of carbon after diamond and graphite.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. any of a class of allotropes of carbon having hollow molecules whose atoms lie at the vertices of a polyhedron having 12 pentagonal and 2 or more hexagonal faces
  • n. any closed-cage compound having twenty or more carbon atoms consisting entirely of 3-coordinate carbon atoms

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a form of carbon having a large molecule consisting of an empty cage of sixty or more carbon atoms

Etymologies

After Richard Buckminster Fuller (from the resemblance of their configurations to his geodesic domes) + -ene.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
from Richard Buckminster Fuller, inventor of the geodesic dome (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The world known as Virga is a fullerene balloon 3,000 kilometers in diameter, filled with air, water, and aimlessly floating chunks of rock.

    June 2009

  • If you have a many-layered fullerene ball, structured like an onion, it approaches the density of graphite.

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  • The world of Virga is a huge fullerene balloon dotted with artificial suns that light up nations which, in turn, are populated by towns.

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  • There was also some kind of autoassembling fullerene tube structure at the core of it that made it electrically conductive.

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  • There are four known allotropes of carbon: amorphous, graphite, diamond, and fullerene.

    Carbon

  • Virga is a world made of a giant pressurized fullerene balloon with an artificial sun at its center.

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  • Named after the architect Buckminster Fuller, whose geodesic dome the fullerene resembles, the sturdy carbon molecule (also nicknamed buckyball) has emerged as one of the most versatile tools in the rapidly developing nanotechnology arsenal.

    Tiny Weapons With Giant Potential

  • At Houston's Rice University, where physicist Richard Smalley discovered the fullerene in 1985 (and in 1996 shared the Nobel Prize for his achievement), researchers have developed another platform for nanoscale drug delivery called the nanoshell.

    Tiny Weapons With Giant Potential

  • "The fullerene goes like a bomb right through the chimney," says Dr. Michael Rosenblum, of the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

    Tiny Weapons With Giant Potential

  • The antibody detects the unique chemical signature of a cancer cell and propels the fullerene directly to the surface of the tumor, where it delivers its payload.

    Tiny Weapons With Giant Potential

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