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Departmental Colloquium

Novel Properties and Applications of Functionalized Fullerenes  
Guest Speaker
Vijay Krishna  
Guest Affiliation
Particle Engineering Research Center, University of Florida  
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm  

We have discovered that certain functionalized fullerenes can be heated and ignited with low-intensity, continuous-wave laser irradiation. The laser induced ignition is observed with near-infrared, green and blue lasers. In absence of oxygen, functionalized fullerenes glow and transform into other carbon nanostructures, such as single-walled carbon nanotubes, multi-walled carbon nanotubes and carbon onions.

These novel optical properties of functionalized fullerenes have game-changing applications in energy, medical, electronics and advanced materials industries. In the energy sector, pyrotechnic charge was ignited with functionalized fullerenes and low-intensity laser (kW/cm2 vs. conventional GW/cm2). In the medical sector, we have demonstrated photoacoustic imaging and photothermal ablation of tumor in mice. For the electronics sector, we have developed methods for green and safe nanolithography. In the advanced materials sector, we have demonstrated ultra-rapid and catalyst-free optical transformation of functionalized fullerenes into carbon nanostructures.  This is the first catalyst-free process to create SWNTs and MWNTs under ambient conditions, and has the potential to produce next generation, high-performance nanocomposite coatings and thin films through in situ synthesis of carbon nanotubes. Water-soluble functionalized fullerenes have minimal eco-toxicity and have potential as a growth stimulant.