Essay on The Molecular Structure Of Sic2

1387 Words May 27th, 2016 null Page
In September of 1985 Kroto, Heath, O’Brien, Curl, and Smalley were investigating sources of the long carbon chain molecules in the interstellar medium and how they might be related to soot formation.1 Smalley developed a laser vaporization cluster beam apparatus that allowed for the mass-spectrometric study of stable clusters formed in a helium-entrained plasma produced by a pulse of laser aimed on at a solid target.2 This experimental technique was a very important discovery to cluster science because it made refractory clusters available for detailed study for the first time.2 Smalley initially used this technique to analyze the molecular structure of SiC2, but Kroto decided to replace the SiC2 with graphite.2 He believed this technique could simulate the chemistry in the atmosphere of carbon stars.2
When Kroto began experimenting he varied the reactions using oxygen, hydrogen, and ammonia gas.2 The results were exactly what he predicted; the reactions created polyynylcyanides and other chain molecules.2 In addition to those there was also a large peak at 720 amu on the mass spectrum.2 The peak varied with the changing conditions sometimes it dominated the spectrum and sometimes it was unassuming.1 Kroto and Smalley were so interested in this unknown C60 peak, they delayed their semiconductor program and just focused on figuring out what this is. Since Kroto and Smalley knew how to create the C60 molecule they began to think about a possible structure. The whole team…

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