Number 129 (Story #2), May 19, 1993 by Phillip F. Schewe and Ben Stein|
CLUSTERS OF FULLERENE MOLECULES seem to occur preferentially (but not exclusively) at certain cluster sizes, such as 13, 19, 23, 35, etc. Carbon-60 and Carbon-70 buckyballs are themselves clusters held tightly together. But clusters of buckyballs are only weakly bound by van der Waals forces. A group of scientists at the Max Planck Institute in Stuttgart, Germany have succeeded in ionizing the fragile clusters without breaking them apart and cataloging their hefts in a mass spectrometer (T.P. Martin et al., 11 May 1993 Physical Review Letters). The preferred cluster sizes were similar (but not identical to) those for xenon and argon clusters.