Fullerene is an allotrope of carbon. Its molecules contain carbon atoms bound together by double and single bonds. These bonds lead to forming of a closed cage-like structure containing several atoms. The fullerene molecule will either have a hollow sphere or be a tube or an ellipsoid. It can also have other shapes and sizes. You can learn more about Fullerenes at SES Research.
Listed below are some of the chemical and physical properties of Fullerene:
- Its structure and behavior depend on the environment’s temperature. As the temperature increases, the Fullerene can change to C70.
- Its structure can be modified under different types of pressure.
- Fullerene is stable but not totally unreactive.
- It can act as an electrophile during chemical reactions.
- It is an oxidizing agent and acts like an electron-accepting group.
- It is ferromagnetic
Types of Fullerene
Fullerenes are present in two families. Which family a particular fullerene belongs to depends on its distinct applications and properties. The two families are the open-ended carbon nanotubes that are cylindrical and the closed buckyballs. However, there could also be hybrid types that may be present between these two families.
The Buckyball Fullerenes are some of the tiniest fullerene group members. They are unsaturated versions of Dedocahedra. Their structural formula is C 20.
These types of Fullerenes have hollow or cylindrical tubes. These tubes are usually a few nanometers wide. These tubes can be both open-ended or closed. In addition, they have macroscopic properties like high tensile strength, high heat and electrical conductivity, and high ductility.
These fullerenes have the smallest fullerene molecules. They contain hexagonal and pentagonal rings. No two pentagons share an edge. These fullerenes exist in the form of C 60, the most commonly occurring Fullerene.
C 60 – The Most Common Fullerene
C 60 is the most common type of Fullerene. It comprises 60 carbon atoms forming a structure that looks like a soccer ball. The C 60 interacts with free radicals in its environment because of how the atoms bond together. This gives the molecules strong antioxidant properties.
According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, antioxidants in your food can reduce oxidative stress in the body. This oxidative stress may play a critical role in aging and many other health conditions like:
- Neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
- Heart Conditions
Since C 60 has several antioxidant properties, you may use it as a supplement. It can also be used in certain anti-aging skin care products.
C 60 Research and Health
Though C 60 was discovered and isolated many years ago, research into its molecule’s effect on human health is pretty recent. Most of these studies have been conducted on animals or cells. Very few human studies have been conducted. Listed below are the different areas where C 60 research has been conducted:
A 2019 research examined the effects of the C 60 on joint inflammation and damage in arthritic rats. Another study, conducted in 2016, studies the C 60 compound’s ability to regulate inflammation in mice with Eczema.
Several studies have been conducted to check the effects of C 60 derivatives on the growth of tumors and metastasis in mice. In addition, a 2020 study researched the compound’s ability to prevent lung damage in mice treated with an anti-cancer medication called Bleomycin.
A study conducted in 2017 examined how C 60 can help with endurance and muscle fatigue in rats.
Several studies have been conducted in rats with diabetes to check if C 60 can prevent kidney and neuronal damage caused by hyperglycemia.
Side Effects of Fullerenes
Many recent studies have shown that fullerenes, especially C 60, are not toxic to humans. However, further research is required in this area. A few studies conducted in 2016 showed that C 60 doesn’t interact with animal and human skin.
Another study conducted in 2012 showed that different doses of C 60 dissolved in corn oil did not harm rats. A similar study conducted in 2016 also showed that Fullerene did not harm rats when dissolved in olive oil.
Should You Make Fullerenes
While early studies show that fullerenes can have several benefits, these studies are still preliminary. Hence, care should be taken while making fullerenes, even if people eat them. You may visit SES Research to learn more about Fullerenes. They have been conducting regular research on Fullerenes and their various benefits and side effects.