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News Picks : Boron equivalent of buckyballs made for first time

By: Physics Today
15 July 2014

New Scientist: In 1985, 60-atom hollow spheres of carbon called buckyballs were created. Boron, which is adjacent to carbon on the periodic table, was considered likely to make similar structures, but it has taken nearly 30 years for someone to do so. Now, Lai-Sheng Wang of Brown University in Rhode Island and his colleagues have created a 40-atom structure from boron that duplicates the hollow cage-like shape of buckyballs. The one major difference is that whereas buckyballs are made of pentagons and hexagons, borospheres are made of triangles, hexagons, and heptagons and thus have a less spherical shape. Wang's team created the molecules by vaporizing boron with a laser and then cooling the cloud with liquid helium. They created spectra of the resulting structures and compared them with simulations to determine what shapes were created.


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