Carbon fullerenes now have metallic cousins, ‘hollow golden cages’
Au16, the worlds smallest hollow gold cage.
Scientists have uncovered a class of gold atom clusters that are the first known metallic hollow equivalents of the famous hollow carbon fullerenes known as buckyballs.
The evidence for what their discoverers call "hollow golden cages" appeared today in the online early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The fullerene is made up of a sphere of 60 carbon (C) atoms; gold (Au) requires many fewer--16, 17 and 18 atoms, in triangular configurations more gem-like than soccer ball. At more than 6 angstroms across, or roughly a ten-millionth the size of this comma, they are nonetheless roomy enough to cage a smaller atom.
Bill Cannon | EurekAlert!
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