Alchemist News

This week The Alchemist is hearing about caging radioactive gases, boron buckyballs to beat buckminsterfullerenes, and stretching it when it comes to the definition of a molecule. We are also all at sea when it comes to understanding the barnacle’s grip on the slippery while a simple catalyst can boost biomass crude oil. Finally, this […]

Researchers discover boron 'buckyball'

The discovery of buckyballs — soccer-ball-shaped molecules of carbon — helped usher in the nanotechnology era. Now, researchers have shown that boron, carbon’s neighbor on the periodic table, can form a cage-like molecule similar to the buckyball. Until now, such a boron structure had only been a theoretical speculation. The researchers dubbed their new-found nanostructure […]

Boron analog of graphene on the cards?

Graphene, a sheet of carbon one atom thick, may soon have a new nanomaterial partner. In the lab and on supercomputers, chemists have determined that a cluster of 36 boron atoms forms a flat disc with a hexagonal hole in the middle. The shape fits theoretical predictions for a potential new nanomaterial: “borophene.”