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Still Waters

Chemists make first-ever ring of pure carbon

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Still Waters

Carbon can be arranged in a number of configurations. When each of its atoms is bonded to three other carbon atoms, it's relatively soft graphite. Add just one more bond and it becomes one of the hardest minerals known, diamond. Chuck 60 carbon atoms together in a soccerball shape and boom, buckyballs.

But a ring of carbon atoms, where each atom is bonded to just two others, and nothing else? That's eluded scientists for 50 years. Their best attempts have resulted in a gaseous carbon ring that quickly dissipated.

So it's a pretty big deal that a team of researchers, from Oxford University and IBM Research, has now created a stable carbon ring.



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I want ONE!!!! 


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Fun fact: If you shoot buckyballs through a double slit experiment, they act like particles would do. Evidence that duality goes beyond the quantum realm.

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