The key difference between graphene and fullerene is that graphene has a two-dimensional structure, while fullerene has a three-dimensional structure.
What is Graphene?
Graphene is an allotrope of carbon which occurs as two-dimensional sheets, which can be named as “two-dimensional hexagonal lattice”. Moreover, it is an infinitely large aromatic molecule. The structure is as follows:
Furthermore, this material has a unique set of properties:
- In comparison to its thickness, graphene is stronger than even the strongest steel.
- It efficiently conduct heat and electricity
- And, burns at very low temperatures
- It is nearly transparent
- Also, it is large and has nonlinear diamagnetism
- Further, it has large quantum oscillations
- Carbon atoms at the edges of its sheet have specific chemical reactivity
- Moreover, the defects within the sheet enhance the chemical reactivity
- Besides, the graphene sheets stack to form graphite
What is Fullerene?
Fullerene is an allotrope of carbon which occurs as spheres of carbon. Therefore, unlike graphene, fullerene is a 3D structure. Furthermore, it occurs as a large spheroidal molecule, and it consists of a cage formed by sixty or more atoms.
It is a closed structure, so there are no edges. Moreover, it has single and double bonds between carbon atoms. Moreover, the cage of fullerene is made by rings of carbon atoms (there can be 5 to 7 carbon atoms per ring). Though it mainly occurs as a sphere, it also can occur as an ellipsoid, tube or some other shape. Moreover, the size of the fullerene molecule may vary.
What is the Difference Between Graphene and Fullerene?
Graphene is an allotrope of carbon that occurs as sheets of carbon while fullerene is an allotrope of carbon which occurs as spheres of carbon. The key difference between graphene and fullerene is that graphene has a two-dimensional structure, while fullerene has a three-dimensional structure. Moreover, there are no edges in fullerene, but in grapheme, there are edges.
The below infographic summarizes the difference between graphene and fullerene.
Summary – Graphene vs Fullerene
In brief, graphene and fullerene are important allotropic structures of carbon. The key difference between graphene and fullerene is that graphene has a two-dimensional structure, while fullerene has a three-dimensional structure.
1. Devasena, Thiyagarajan, and Arul Prakash Francis. “Graphene: From Lab to Life.” Graphene, vol. 2, no. 1, Jan. 2014, pp. 62–66., doi:10.1166/graph.2014.1037.
2. Gautam, Rajeev K., and Anil Verma. “Electrocatalyst Materials for Oxygen Reduction Reaction in Microbial Fuel Cell.” Microbial Electrochemical Technology, 2019, pp. 451–483., doi:10.1016/b978-0-444-64052-9.00018-2.
1. “Graphen” By AlexanderAlUS – Own work (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “C60a” – original uploader was Mstroeck at English Wikipedia. But, later versions were uploaded by Bryn C at en.wikipedia. – Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons. (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia