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Cooking up carbon doughnuts.

First, there were buckyballs-molecules made up of carbon atoms arranged into closed spheres. Then came buckytubes-buckyballs with elongated waists forming cylindrical carbon tubes sealed at both ends. Buckytubes, in turn, could line up side by side to form bundles, or ropes.

Daniel T. Colbert of Rice University in Houston and his coworkers have now found, amid the tangled mass of buckytubes and ropes typically produced from carbon vapor, doughnut-shaped rings of carbon atoms. Such rings apparently result when the ends of a growing nanotube meet and fuse.

Carbon doughnuts show up regularly in electron micrographs and scanning force microscope images of laser-grown carbon nanotube material. "We see these perfect circles nearly every time we look," says Rice's Richard E. Smalley. Ring diameters typically range from 300 to 500 nanometers.
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Title Annotation:discovery of doughnut-shaped rings of carbon atoms
Author:Peterson, Ivars
Publication:Science News
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Mar 29, 1997
Previous Article:Particle tracking and liquid flow.
Next Article:Probing atomic migration in thin wires.

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