Carbon buckyballs (or fullerenes) were discovered several years ago and hold the promise of hydrogen storage. Now, recently researchers at Brown University have discovered boron buckyballs or as they call them borospherenes that may hold hydrogen atoms as well.
According to Brown, “The discovery of buckyballs – soccer-ball-shaped molecules of carbon – helped usher in the nanotechnology era. Now, Lai-Sheng Wang’s research group and colleagues from China have shown that boron, carbon’s neighbor on the periodic table, can form a cage-like molecule similar to the buckyball. Until now, such a boron structure had only been a theoretical speculation. The researchers dubbed their newfound nanostructure ‘borospherene’ …
“…As for possible uses for borospherene, it’s a little too early to tell, Wang says. One possibility, he points out, could be hydrogen storage. Because of the electron deficiency of boron, borospherene would likely bond well with hydrogen. So tiny boron cages could serve as safe houses for hydrogen molecules.”
In March of 2008, I had talked about how Rice University was working on developing carbon buckyballs or nanocages that could hold and release hydrogen atoms.
The U. S. Department of Energy (DOE) has outlined that for hydrogen cars and infrastructure to grow and develop, the storage of H2 on a large scale must be addressed. As a consequence many researchers are going buckyballs to the wall to make this happen.