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Chemists Build First "Buckyball" Made of Boron

samzenpus posted about two weeks ago | from the brand-new-balls dept.

Science 39

CelestialScience writes Researchers have built the first "buckyballs" composed entirely of boron. Unlike the original, carbon-based buckyballs, the boron molecules are not shaped like soccer balls, with tessellating pentagons and hexagons. Instead, they are molecular cages made up of hexagons, heptagons and triangles. As Lai-Sheng Wang of Brown University and colleagues report in the journal Nature Chemistry, each one contains 40 atoms, compared with carbon buckyballs which are made of 60. Boron is not the first element after carbon to get "buckyballed", but the boron balls may be the closest analogue to the carbon variety. Because of their reactivity, they could be useful for storing hydrogen.

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39 comments

Boron? (4, Funny)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | about two weeks ago | (#47449649)

The first time I read the headline I thought it said Chemists Build First "Buckyball" Made of Bacon .

Boron's OK, I suppose, but bacon would have been way wicked cooler.

Re:Boron? (1)

BradyB (52090) | about two weeks ago | (#47449661)

The first time I read the headline I thought it said Chemists Build First "Buckyball" Made of Bacon .

Boron's OK, I suppose, but bacon would have been way wicked cooler.

Same here, I was just about to post that. Too funny.

Re:Boron? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47450441)

Bacon. Is there anything it CAN'T do?

Re:Boron? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47449785)

And today is a sad day on the internet. I searched for a bucky ball made of bacon, and it didn't exist.

Re:Boron? (4, Funny)

jeffb (2.718) (1189693) | about two weeks ago | (#47449939)

Step 1: Build buckyball model out of wooden skewers and string.

Step 2: Wrap skewers in raw bacon.

Step 3: Microwave.

Step 4: Post to YouTube.

Step 5: Profit!

(Note to whoever actually tries this: Depending on the scale of your model, some of the bacon loops may resonantly couple with the field in your microwave oven. Don't be surprised at arcs and flames. Please don't skip Step 4.)

Re:Boron? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47450973)

...

Step 3: Microwave.

...

Please go hand in your man card now.

Re:Boron? (1)

davester666 (731373) | about two weeks ago | (#47454573)

You do NOT want to be the first person to get "buckyballed".

Re:Boron? (1)

JaneTheIgnorantSlut (1265300) | about two weeks ago | (#47449881)

Yum! Bacon!

Re:Boron? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47450061)

A Buckyball made of Bacon would definitely stick to your insides, namely your arteries. ;-)

Re:Boron? (1)

BigT (70780) | about two weeks ago | (#47450283)

I knew I couldn't have been the only one to read it that way.

Re:Boron? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47455183)

Mate, have you checked out reddit yet? No? I think you belong there a lot more than here...

Re:Boron? (1)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | about two weeks ago | (#47457595)

Lighten up, Anonymous Coward.

what a glorious failure! (3, Funny)

Thud457 (234763) | about two weeks ago | (#47449651)

They're still talking about his balls 40 years after his death.

Re:what a glorious failure! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47452531)

I certainly like their coined name, "borospherene", more than the potential eponym, "Wang balls".

This is cool shit (3, Insightful)

Infiniti2000 (1720222) | about two weeks ago | (#47449665)

This is some cool shit. The carbon buckyballs spurred development and interest in carbon nanotubes and some other nano-material stuff. I hope this provides some more funding and interest.

Re:This is cool shit (0)

i kan reed (749298) | about two weeks ago | (#47449683)

Of course, we still can't make anything out of carbon nanotubes.

Re:This is cool shit (5, Informative)

Dynedain (141758) | about two weeks ago | (#47449739)

Of course, we still can't make anything out of carbon nanotubes.

Wikipedia claims to differ with several thousand tons produced and used annually [wikipedia.org] .

Re:This is cool shit (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47449749)

lol - fail much?

Of course we can make all kinds of things from carbon nanotubes.

From heatsinks
http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/175457-this-carbon-nanotube-heatsink-is-six-times-more-thermally-conductive-could-trigger-a-revolution-in-cpu-clock-speeds

Darkest black paint
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/blackest-is-the-new-black-scientists-have-developed-a-material-so-dark-that-you-cant-see-it-9602504.html

radios
http://www.physics.berkeley.edu/research/zettl/projects/nanoradio/radio.html

transistors
http://www.technologyreview.com/news/528601/ibm-commercial-nanotube-transistors-are-coming-soon/

  I for one want the surface of my vehicle coated in the new carbon nanotube black coating so that laser speed sensors would fail entirely.

So, really, we can't making "ANYTHING" from these eh??? Wrong. We just can't create them on a commercial scale *yet*.

Re: This is cool shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47449819)

The laser would still reflect off the other surfaces of the vehicle, windshield, lights, chrome accents, and possibly objects from inside the vehicle.

Re: This is cool shit (1)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47449933)

Replace chrome with carbon black, put carbon black lense covers over headlights and taillights. Rear and side windows cover with a carbon black film and you a car that will be so hot in the summer time that it would melt the occupant. :)

It was mostly a joke, but thanks for playing.

Re: This is cool shit (1)

KingOfBLASH (620432) | about two weeks ago | (#47450189)

Cops have to aim the laser off of what to bounce it off of. That's why you see people with license plate covers that are a little dark -- the idea being the cop will normally aim at your license plate, and you will have some time to react.

Not sure if this actually works or if it's mostly urban legend..

Re:This is cool shit (1)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47449917)

Call me when these articles no longer centre around words such as "could", "may", "might" or "coming soon".

Re:This is cool shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47450593)

The dark ages called. They want their philosophy back.

Re:This is cool shit (4, Informative)

MightyYar (622222) | about two weeks ago | (#47449757)

The really, really black stuff from yesterday [slashdot.org] is made with nanotubes.

Re:This is cool shit (2)

i kan reed (749298) | about two weeks ago | (#47450309)

Oh, sorry. I don't see color. I judge commercial applications by the content of their character.

Re:This is cool shit (2)

geekoid (135745) | about two weeks ago | (#47449995)

Not true.

Some MRI systems use them
Several non metalic catalyst use them
Some sensors use them.

They are being used more and more as different engineering issues are solved.

Re:This is cool shit (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about two weeks ago | (#47450233)

Of course, we still can't make anything out of carbon nanotubes.

Your Slashdot id is apparently a lie... :-)
Carbon nanotubes have been used to make tons of things. The problem with them isn't finding uses for them, it's how expensive they are to make. Keep in mind that aluminum [slate.com] used to be one of the most expensive materials on earth due to its difficulty to smelt.

Considering it rhymes with Moron... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47449703)

all we're going to hear from the stupid Republicans are Boron/Moron jokes. Their kind is so immature. I just hate thinking about what their going to do with this. I'm tired of their stupid puns.

Re:Considering it rhymes with Moron... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47450115)

It occurs to me that it was you who recognized the potential for a pun, but you were unable to actually come up with one. Very sad, pathetic, actually. Something tells me your third sentence should have had a period after 'thinking.'

Re:Considering it rhymes with Moron... (1)

517714 (762276) | about two weeks ago | (#47450167)

Maybe the world would be better if instead of assuming what others will say, you would wait and listen. When YOU assume how others will respond, it is impossible that the response would be intelligent, but that has nothing to do with others.

Re:Considering it rhymes with Moron... (1)

kwbauer (1677400) | about two weeks ago | (#47453275)

Why? The way he did it means that others of his ilk will be able to use his post as a source that Republicans actually did it. His side tend to work that way quite often.

Molten? (3, Interesting)

B2382F29 (742174) | about two weeks ago | (#47449767)

Was it made of molten boron [youtube.com] ?

Nobody doesn't like molten boron.

Re:Molten? (1)

NIK282000 (737852) | about two weeks ago | (#47450481)

I'm glad some one else thought of this too.

Fuels? Rockets? The cool green explosion stuff? (1)

h5inz (1284916) | about two weeks ago | (#47450159)

Any chemists out there? Will it make a nice fuel when the hydrogen is attached? Like this one:
http://aviationtrivia.blogspot... [blogspot.com]
Would it be dangerous like this dude here says (read the tendencies part):
http://www.dequasiebooks.com/g... [dequasiebooks.com]
I also read that these fuels were also researched in USSR. It always makes me wonder what didn't happen there. I know a couple of nice stories myself about the things that didn't happen. Things only happened when they were good or meant to be terrifying or when their fallout set off the alarms in Swedish nuclear plant. I did read these bits about boron based fuels when there was some article about green UFO-s. I know these sources might not be adecuate or true, so you might want to add your own.

Re:Fuels? Rockets? The cool green explosion stuff? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47454157)

Pentaborane is right there in the catalog of evil, evil stuff. How evil? Both the US Air Force and the Soviets military decided it was just too unworkable. "Problems with this fuel include its toxicity and its characteristic of bursting into flame on contact with the air. Furthermore, its exhaust would also be toxic." (Pentaborane [wikipedia.org] )

Maybe buckyborane would be better behaved.

All in all, I'd prefer it to be less exciting. You know, as in bore-on.

Borohydrides, not boranes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47457219)

Since I think the goal is to try to see if there exists potential for dense hydrogen storage with these molecules, not necessarily using them directly as a fuel, suach as the borane experiments. Still, the borohydrides are not know to be such nice chemicals to play around with either, they are quite toxic, corrosive, and highly flammable, and require proper protective gear and procedures to be handled without harming yourself.

The Strong Fifth Element (1)

anakha (88297) | about two weeks ago | (#47450527)

Monks have known about this for years.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

Multipass (1)

tepples (727027) | about two weeks ago | (#47457019)

So the fifth element isn't Milla Jovovich [youtube.com] ?

Fusion nuclear weapon enhancer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47462979)

Stuffing this around a nuke will create all sorts of explosive evil, since it will compress the core from the boron exploding due to neutrons from the fission stage overloading the boron. See Friedwardt Winterberg's paper

http://vixra.org/pdf/1106.0009v1.pdf

Increasing the boron content has the potential to substantially reduce the size of the device.

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