Significant Applications of Fullerenes in Different Fields

April 26, 2018
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Fullerene molecules have been used for various purposes. Different industries have their applications. For example, pharmaceutical industry has terrific application of these molecules. These molecules can also be found to be applied in the field of electronics devices manufacturing. They have unique physical as well as chemical properties. This is why they are used in different ways under different conditions. In fact, fullerene molecules show change in properties in different environmental conditions. Pressure, temperature, presence of moisture and many other factors can influence the properties of C60 Fullerenes. In the following section, we shall note the applications.

Medical Applications of Fullerene

In the field of biochemistry, this molecule has been used quite extensively. In aqueous medium, fullerene is insoluble and this was the initial challenge at the beginning for the researchers. As long as it remains insoluble in water, it will not be absorbed by human body and thus it would not show up medicinal properties. With various encapsulation techniques, this problem has been overcome. Now, we shall find the applications of fullerene:

  • Anti-oxidants: Fullerene can neutralize free radicals and thus it can be used as anti-oxidant for human body. C60 molecule of fullerene can react with almost 34 methyl radicals. This is the reason why fullerene molecules have been noted as “world’s most efficient radical scavengers”.
  • Antiviral Agent: Number of anti-biotic for the treatment of viral infections is quite limited. However, fullerene molecules have resolved this problem. They show terrific anti-viral properties and thus they are successfully used for anti-viral treatment process. According to researchers, with the application of fullerene molecules HIV can be controlled to some extent.

Fullerene for Solar Cells

Organic photovoltaic solar cell which is based on polymer can be used for the purpose of conversion of solar energy. In fact, this has been regarded as an economic or budget-friendly process of converting solar energy. These solar cells work to transfer electrons to the acceptors. Fullerene molecules work as great acceptors, as they possess high electron affinity. To learn more, you can check here.

Hydrogen Gas Storage

In laboratories and in various industrial plants, hydrogen gas has to be stored. Storing such gas properly is always important otherwise major hazards can be noted. The unique molecular structure of fullerene allows people to use this substance for storage of hydrogen gas for industrial purposes. Fullerene comes with C=C double bonds which has been simplified into C-C single bond. In normal temperature one C molecule is replaced by H molecule of hydrogen to form C-H bond. When heated, the bond gets broken and hydrogen has been released.

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