Astronomers - Fullerene and Graphene in space?

posted Aug 12, 2011, 3:11 AM by Hatef Sadeghi
A team of astronomers say they detected the first sighting of C70 Fullerene molecule in space, and possible Graphene molecules, too. They say that collisional shocks powered by the winds from old stars in planetary nebulae could be responsible for the formation of fullerenes and graphene.
According to the scientists, fullerenes and graphene are formed from the shock-induced (i.e., grain-grain collisions) destruction of hydrogenated amorphous carbon grains (HACs). Such collisions are expected in the stellar winds emanating from planetary nebulae. The existence of these molecules does not depend on the stellar temperature, but on the strength of the wind shocks.

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