Carbon, with the chemical symbol C, is a vital element forming the basis of all organic compounds. Although carbon has been known since antiquity, systematic exploration began in the 18th century. Abundant on Earth, carbon constitutes about 0.02% of the Earth's crust and appears in various forms, including diamonds, graphite, and fullerenes.
Crucial for biological systems, carbon serves as the building blocks for proteins, DNA, and living organisms. Industrially, carbon finds broad applications, from fossil fuels to plastics and carbon fibers for high-performance materials. Activated carbon is also used in medicine for detoxification.
Future applications could emerge in nanotechnology and energy storage. Graphene, a single-layer carbon structure, shows promising properties for electronics, sensors, and hydrogen production. Research on carbon nanotubes opens possibilities for improved batteries and advanced nanomaterials. Carbon remains a key element for innovations in both established and emerging technological fields.