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Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL

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  • On November 9, 2005

Nano technology will transform architecture in the not too distant future. Buckypaper owes its name to Buckminsterfullerene, or Carbon 60–a type of carbon molecule whose powerful atomic bonds make it twice as hard as a diamond. And Buckminsterfullerene of course owes its name to the ledgend architect, inventor, engineer, mathematician, poet and cosmologist Buckminster Fuller.

Buckypaper a material 10 times lighter than steel–but 250 times stronger–would be a dream come true for any architect/engineer. If this material also had amazing properties that made it highly conductive of heat and electricity, it would start to sound like something out of a science fiction novel. Yet one Florida State University research group, the Florida Advanced Center for Composite Technologies (FAC2T), is working to develop real-world applications for just such a material.

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