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Carbon nanotubes
Fullerene chemistry
In popular culture
Carbon allotropes


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The following is a list of references to fullerenes in popular culture.

Fine Art[]

Quantum Reality Buckyball

A 30' (9 m) diameter Buckyball sculpture was created by former physicist Julian Voss-Andreae.

Physicist-turned-artist Julian Voss-Andreae has created several sculptures symbolizing wave-particle duality in Buckminsterfullerenes.[1] Voss-Andreae participated in research demonstrating that even objects as large as Buckminsterfullerenes obey the peculiar laws of quantum physics[2]. After this, Voss-Andreae changed careers to become a full-time artist. Since then he has created objects such as a 2' (60 cm) diameter bronze structure called "Quantum Buckyball" (2004) consisting of four nested buckyballs. His largest fullerene-based sculpture is located in Tryon Creek State Park in Oregon (USA). "Quantum Reality (Large Buckyball Around Trees)" (2006) is a 30' (9 m) diameter steel structure embracing two maple trees.


  • In Stel Pavlou's novel Decipher (2001), buckyballs, nanotechnology and complexity theory are used in the creation of flocking nano-swarms that form human-sized golems. C60 is said to be the building block of the Lost City of Atlantis. C900 is mentioned (p. 292), a non-metal magnet.
  • In Neal Stephenson's 1995 cyberpunk/postcyberpunk novel The Diamond Age (1995), buckyballs are nanotechnological containers for things such as rod logic computers.
  • In Green Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson, fullerenes of various sizes, "including some thirties," are created in the fall of the first space elevator (a cable of carbon) onto the surface of Mars.
  • Buckyballs are used as a barrier in the novella Iron by Poul Anderson, which forms part of the book Man-Kzin Wars by Larry Niven, Poul Anderson and Dean Ing.
  • In Arthur C. Clarke's novel 3001: The Final Odyssey, BuckminsterFullerene is the substance used to build the massive station-ring around earth and the necessary surface supports to maintain it.
  • In Ian McDonald's novel Chaga (U.S. title: Evolution's Shore) and its sequel Kirinya, the Chaga, an alien lifeform that transforms the landscape of Earth as well as retrovirus-infected animals and humans that come in contact with it, is composed of fullerenes; one character nicknames it the "buckyball jungle."
  • In Simon Hawke's Reluctant Sorcerer trilogy, fullerene is a highly necessary component of Simon Brewster's travelling machine.
  • Buckyballs are integral to James Rollins's novel Sandstorm.
  • In Paul Preuss's novel Core (1993), fullerenes are lubricants which can function in various ways at the extreme pressures and temperatures found within the earth's interior.
  • Karl Schroeder's novel Sun of Suns and its sequels feature a man-made fullerene Dyson sphere-like habitat, described as a fullerene balloon.
  • In Clive Cussler's novel Sacred Stone, buckyballs are mentioned as a possible vehicle from outer space that could contain alien pathogens.


  • In the massively multiplayer online game Eve Online, exotic fullerene compounds are utilized as a core component in the construction of tech level 3 starships.
  • In the PC game Civilization: Call to Power, one of the scientific advancements available is a city-encompasing force field of C60 bucky balls.
  • Tagon's Toughs, the mercenaries in the web comic Schlock Mercenary, often use fullerene personal combat armour, worn as regular clothes. The title character, Schlock, is a carbo-silicate amorph whose body consists largely of nanotubes.
  • In the television series Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda, fullerenes are common materials, used in the construction of high-durability objects such as ship hulls and body armor.
  • In the Star Trek fictional universe, the fullerene carbon-70 is one of the primary constituents of the late 24th century communicators.[citation needed]
  • In the online browser-based game Kingdom of Loathing, combat items called "buckyballs" were available during the game's Christmas 2007 event.
  • In the 2007 remake of The Andromeda Strain, buckyballs are the encapsulating structure around the Andromeda "organism" which collides with the Project Scoop satellite.
  • In the TV series “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" one character manages to scribble the letters Tb3N@C84 (possibly referring to the unusual fullerene molecule) in his own blood on a wall before dying. The show was cancelled before the exact meaning of this writing was revealed; however, some speculate it had something to do with the series of liquid metal Terminators or time travel since Fullerene molecules have been discussed for use in nanotechnology and quantum physics.


  1. Cartlidge, Edwin (November 1999). "Once a physicist: Julian Voss-Andreae". Physics World: 44. 
  2. Arndt, Markus; O. Nairz, J. Voss-Andreae, C. Keller, G. van der Zouw, A. Zeilinger (14 October 1999). "Wave-particle duality of C60". Nature 401: 680–682. doi:10.1038/44348.