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Robert Curl, Harold Kroto

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Robert Curl, Harold Kroto & Rick Smalley
(1985) They discovered an entirely new class of carbon compound with a cage-like structure. This led to the discovery of similar tube-like carbon structures. Collectively, the compounds come to be called buckminsterfullerenes, or fullerenes. The molecules are composed entirely of carbon and take the form of a hollow sphere, ellipsoid, tube or ring. Named for Richard Buckminster Fuller, the architect who created the geodesic dome, they are sometimes called "buckyballs" or "buckytubes."

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