Florida State University scientists are offering a new understanding of how an intriguing nanomaterial — metallofullerene — is formed in a recently published research study.
Metallofullerenes are part of the carbon family, and kin to what’s popularly known as buckyballs. Buckyballs, or fullerenes, are hollow, soccer-ball-shaped, spherical cages that represent a basic form of carbon. The empty spaces in the fullerenes can trap metal atoms, resulting in metallofullerenes.
“Metallofullerenes are a unique form of molecular nanocarbon,” says FSU chemist Paul Dunk, a co-author of the study. “They are potentially useful in a number of biomedical diagnostics, in particular as MRI contrast agents.”