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Finite systems may consist of a few tens of atoms, but they may include millions of atoms as well. Almost spherical, close–packed, metallic clusters exhibiting increased stability at certain “magic” numbers are one group of finite systems. Carbon clusters, such as the so–called fullerenes, form hollow “cage” stable structures starting from the almost–spherical (actually truncated icosahedron) C60 to larger elongated “molecules”; fullerenes may combine with themselves and with other atoms as well to create solids with interesting properties. Another class of carbon clusters are the carbon nanotubes exhibiting a wealth of impressive features; they can be viewed as rolled–up graphene strips. Finally quantum dots are semiconductor nanostructures that show size and shape–dependent optical and transport properties.
KeywordsCarbon Cluster Finite System Alkali Atom Coulomb Blockade Metallic Cluster
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