Carbon is the basic element of organic materials. Depending on how the carbon atoms are bonded, carbon-based systems can be divided into groups with different physical and chemical properties. As both the widely diamond and graphite carbon allotropes are of natural sources, the main interest here discussed will be regarding the other main existing forms of carbon arising from laboratory practice, which are the fullerenes, carbon nanotubes and graphene. Herein is presented a conspectus on the field of the above mentioned synthetic carbon allotropes, where emphasis is set on their preparation and functionalization methods, along with more detailed examples on several promising applications with 770 references provided. Some synthetic details on the preparation of state-of-the-art compounds are given as well.
Keywords: Capacitors, Carbon allotropes, Carbon nanotubes, Fullerenes, Functionalization of carbon nanotubes, Functionalization of fullerenes, Functionalization of graphene, Graphene, Graphene oxide, Guel cells, Sensors, Solar cells.