Molecular surgery traps hydrogen inside carbon cage

5:44pm, February 14, 2005

In a feat of precision chemistry, scientists have locked a single hydrogen molecule inside a soccer ball–shaped carbon molecule known as a buckyball, and they have used the technique to make large quantities of the tiny containers.

Encapsulating gases or metal atoms inside buckyballs or other types of carbon cages can endow the structures with unique electronic properties. Such structures could serve as transistors in molecular-scale electronic devices or as contrast agents for medical imaging, some researchers say. However, previous strategies for trapping tiny things inside carbon cages are inefficient and require extreme conditions.

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join SSP today or Log in.

More from Science News