Boron ‘buckyball’ opens door to new nanotech

A hollow molecular shell made up of 40 boron atoms has been observed for the first time, potentially opening up the way for future developments in nanotechnology.

Similar to the discovery of carbon “buckyball” molecular structures 30 years ago, researchers from Brown University, Shanxi University and Tsinghua University in China have discovered a corresponding structure of boron atoms.

Researchers observed the structure using a technique called “photoelectron spectroscopy” as well as modelling more than 10,000 possible structural arrangements of boron atoms. The research opens several exciting possibilities, including the potential use of “borospherene”, a boron based alternative to graphene.

Read more at Brown University, Shanxi University, Tsinghua University