A “buckyball” is a large, hollow molecule of 60 carbon atoms arranges in soccer-ball-like shape. Or more precisely, a geodesic-dome shape, which is why it’s named “buckminsterfullerene” — after Buckminster Fuller, inventor of the geodesic dome. Or, more affectionately, a “buckyball.”
This new molecule was discovered (invented?) by the late Richard Smalley in 1985.
And now, his theory of how these molecules can be formed at the nano-level has been confirmed. Here’s a fascinating article — fascinating for those of us who like chemistry, anyway.