METHOD OF PRODUCING CARBON CLUSTERS

Period of Performance: 01/01/1990 - 12/31/1990

$48.9K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

TDA Research, Inc.
12345 W. 52nd Ave. Array
Wheat Ridge, CO 80033
Firm POC

Abstract

NANOMETER-SCALE AGGREGATES OF ORDER 10 TO 100 ATOMS, KNOWN AS CLUSTERS, HAVE GENERATED A GREAT DEAL OF INTEREST IN RECENT YEARS DUE TO THEIR POTENTIAL APPLICATIONS AS CATALYSTS, OPTICAL MATERIALS AND ELECTRONIC MATERIALS. STABLE CLUSTERS OF CARBON HAVE BEEN OBSERVED AND A UNIQUE SPHERICAL STRUCTURE SIMILAR TO THAT OF A SOCCER BALL HAS BEEN PROPOSED FOR THEM. CARBON CLUSTERS ARE GIVEN THE NAME FULLERENES AFTER THE MOST HIGHLY SYMMETRICAL ONE KNOWN AS BUCKMINSTERFULLERENE, C60. FULLERENES ARE INTERESTING BOTH FROM AN ACADEMIC STANDPOINT AND FOR THEIR POSSIBLE PRACTICALUSES. FOR EXAMPLE, THEY WOULD BE THE ONLY SPHERICAL MOLECULES KNOWN WITH AROMATIC STABILITY. FULLERENES HAVE POTENTIAL PRACTICAL USES AS HIGH-TEMPERATURE, OXIDATION-RESISTANT LUBRICANTS AND CATALYSTS. THIS PROPOSAL DETAILS A POSSIBLE METHOD OF ISOLATING RELATIVELY LARGE QUANTITIES OF FULLERENES FOR CHEMICAL ANALYSIS AND EVALUATION OF POSSIBLE PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS. THE METHOD IS RELATIVELY INEXPENSIVE AND SIMPLE TO IMPLEMENT.