Richard Smalley, Buckminsterfullerene (the Buckyball), and Nanotubes

Resources with Additional Information

Richard E. Smalley
Courtesy Carbon
Nanotechnology Laboratory
at Rice University and
Prof. Richard Smalley

Richard E. Smalley, with funding from the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Basic Energy Sciences (BES), has conducted extensive research in cluster chemistry and in cold ion beam technology and is currently involved in research in nanotube single-crystal growth.

Smalley was born June 6, 1943, received a B.S. degree from the University of Michigan in 1965, and received a Ph.D. from Princeton in 1973. He began work at Rice University in 1976 and became a Professor in the Department of Physics in January 1990. In 1996, Dr. Smalley was appointed Director of the Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology (CNST) at Rice University. Current DOE-funded research by The Richard E. Smalley Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology focuses on nanotube single crystal growth.


Richard Smalley has won many awards, including the 1992 E.O. Lawrence Award and the 1996 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, which he shares with Robert F. Curl, Jr., of Rice University, Houston, TX, and Sir Harold W. Kroto of Great Britain "for their discovery of fullerenes". The Nobel award was given for the discovery of a new allotrope of carbon that consists of 60 carbon atoms in the shape of a soccer ball. The molecule was named Buckminsterfullerene and given the nickname "buckyball."

Resources with Additional Information

Additional information about Richard Smalley, Buckminsterfullerene (the buckyball), and nanotubes is available in full-text reports and on the Web.


Discovering the Fullerenes, Review of Modern Physics Vol. 69, Issue 3: 723-730; July 1997

Supersonic Bare Metal Cluster Beams. Technical Progress Report, March 16, 1984 – April 1, 1985
      Includes early cold ion beam technology research

Supersonic Bare Metal Cluster Beams. Final Report, DOE Technical Report, 1997

Thermoelectric Power of Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes, Physical Review Letters Vol. 80, Issue 5:1042-1045; February 2, 1998

Spin Splitting and Even-Odd Effects in Carbon Nanotubes, Physical Review Letters Vol. 81, Issue 3:681-684; July 20, 1998

Ultraviolet Photoelectron Spectra of Mass-selected Copper Clusters: Evolution of the 3d Band, Physical Review Letters Vol. 64, Issue 15:1785-1788; April 9, 1990


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