http://portal.acs.org/portal/acs/corg/content?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=PP_TRANSITIONMAIN&node_id=882&use_sec=false&sec_url_var=region1&__uuid=39102f7f-d590-4cc6-b79c-00697826dcea

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At this site in 1928, Wallace H. Carothers (1896-1937) began his pioneering studies into the chemistry of giant molecules. He soon confirmed that high molecular weight molecules consist of repeating units of simple molecules (monomers) linked together by chemical bonds to form long chains (polymers), as first proposed in 1920 by German chemist Hermann Staudinger. Carothers excelled at creating polymers, and his work quickly led to the E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company's highly successful commercial production of neoprene, the first synthetic rubber made in the Unied States (1932), and nylon, the world's first totally synthetic textile fiber (1939).

TBC, Seaford, DE, United States

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Nophotosqr c8cff0fa2e124eb250f8f6105b227a36933c2aa31cbf3258895bafaa81e1b932
At this site on December 15, 1939, DuPont began commercial production of nylon. Among the earliest successes of a fundamental research program novel in the American chemical industry, nylon was the first totally synthetic fiber to be fashioned into consumer products. Prepared wholly with materials readily derived from coal, air, and water, nylon has properties superior to its natural counterparts, such as silk. Nylon revolutionized the textile industry and led the way for a variety of synthetic materials that have had enormous social and economic impact on the fabric of everyday life worldwide.

TBC, Seaford, DE, United States

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In this building in early September 1985, a team of scientists discovered a previously unknown pure carbon molecule, C60, which they dubbed buckminsterfullerene. The name was chosen because the geodesic domes of Buckminster Fuller provided a clue that the molecule’s atoms might be arranged in the form of a hollow cage. The structure, a truncated icosahedron with 32 faces, 12 pentagonal and 20 hexagonal, has the shape of a soccer ball. Nicknamed buckyballs, this first known stable molecular form of carbon not only opened up a new field of organic chemistry but also, through the development of carbon nanotubes, a new field of materials science. In 1996, Robert Curl, Harold Kroto, and Richard Smalley won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the discovery of the fullerenes.

Richard E. Smalley Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology, Rice University, 6100 Main Street, Space Science Building, TX 77005, Houston, TX, United States

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