The University of Sheffield
Kroto Research Institute

About Harry Kroto

Professor Sir Harry Kroto and the University of Sheffield


Professor Sir Harold Kroto studied Chemistry at the University of Sheffield and in 1961 he obtained a first class BSc honours degree, followed in 1964 by a PhD.

In 1996 he was awarded the Nobel Chemistry Prize for discovering a new form of carbon, known as "buckminsterfullerene", which stands alongside the two other well-defined forms, diamond and graphite.

Giant Buckyball Sculpture

HK and Buckyball Professor Sir Harold Kroto unveiled the world´s first `Giant Buckyball´ sculpture outside the Kroto Research Institute at the University of Sheffield on Wednesday 7 June 2006.

The sculpture stands outside the Kroto Research Institute as a fitting emblem, highlighting the importance of the Nanoscience and Nanotechnology research being undertaken in the Institute and the exciting promise of these cutting-edge research areas for combating the major socio-economic and humanitarian issues, such as environmental remediation, remedial medicine and advanced materials that now confront us.

Global Educational Outreach

Professor Sir Harry Kroto

This studio in the Kroto Research Institute is part of Harry Kroto's Global Educational Outreach network and provides a simple way of recording and publishing on the Internet ( any presentation that communicates science in ways interesting to young people.

It is a highly flexible medium enabling a wide range of different educational approaches to be explored and it is particularly useful for SET teachers who will find valuable downloadable teaching resource material created by the best science and technology experts and educators.

Buckyball Workshops

Professor Sir Harold Kroto provides these workshops all around the world in his quest to engage children of all age ranges on science. He provides these on his annual visit to Sheffield in conjunction with Sheffield football clubs for local schools.


scientific image

ScienceWords is organised by the Kroto Research Institute at the University of Sheffield, and is open to researchers anywhere to use. It provides a forum for scientists to improve the public understanding and enjoyment of the leading edge scientific research through the use of scientific images and plain English text.

Kroto Research Institute Photo competition

This competition is run by the Kroto Research Institute at the end of each calendar year and is open to all research conducted with the Institute and reflects the range of disciplines including biological sciences, physical sciences, and engineering in this multi disciplinary research centre. The scientific images are assessed for visual impact and an overall winner is selected by Professor Sir Harry Kroto. Publication on the Sciencewords website of the images, each with a brief description, provides a means of communicating the interest of this research to the wider public.

Sir Harry is presented with a portrait of himself

Sir Harry and his portrait

Sir Harry was presented with a portrait of himself, on his visit to Sheffield on 22 June 2010. It was produced by modern portrait artist Peter Edwards. The portrait depicts Sir Harry at his home in Sussex.

Peter Edwards said: "When you begin to get to know Harry, apart from everything else, you become aware of a professional knowledge of the graphic arts. And from the evidence of my eyes - a gifted graphic artist. In my portrait of him I have attempted a strong "graphic" image of a dynamic man in moment of still reflection."

Professor Sir Harry Kroto opens a new centre for the world's most powerful microscope.

Sir Harry and FEGTEM

Internationally renowned scientist, Professor Sir Harry Kroto, marked his visit to the University of Sheffield this week (21-22 June 2010) by officially opening a new centre which will house the world's most powerful microscope.

The Kroto Centre for High Resolution Imaging and Analysis, which will house the world´s most powerful microscope, is part financed by the European Union European Regional Development Fund and will provide the ability, for the first time, to examine the structure and composition of materials at atomic and even sub-atomic scale.

Google celebrates buckyball's 25 years anniversary

Google doodle using buckyball

The 25th anniversary of the discovery of the "buckyball",
was celebrated with a special interactive Google Doodle.
The logo was rolled out across the world on 4 September 2010 to celebrate the quarter of a century since its discovery.