Fullerene Synthesis in Microgravity to Establish Mechanism of Formation
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
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Materials & Electrochemical
7960 South Kolb Road, Tucson, AZ, 85706
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AbstractFullerenes have become the most investigated/publicized scientific subject ever. In spite of this intense and the enormous commercial potential, the mechanism to the synthesis of the various fullerene structures of buckyballs, buckytubes and encapsulation within the cage structures has not been defined which is a major reason the cost of fullerenes remain about 5-160 times the cost of gold Conducting synthesis experiments in microgravity with in-situ analysis along with post analysis, provides a potential opportunity to establish a model for the mechanism of buckyball, buckytubes and encapsulation formation. Demonstrating the mechanism for the synthesis of the fullerene structures and encapsulation provides a basis for the large scale economic production in earth environment as well as a basis for future commercial synthesis in space using solar power.
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