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The principle of affine symmetry is applied here to the nested fullerene cages (carbon onions) that arise in the context of carbon chemistry. Previous work on affine extensions of the icosahedral group has revealed a new organizational principle in virus structure and assembly. This group-theoretic framework is adapted here to the physical requirements dictated by carbon chemistry, and it is shown that mathematical models for carbon onions can be derived within this affine symmetry approach. This suggests the applicability of affine symmetry in a wider context in nature, as well as offering a novel perspective on the geometric principles underpinning carbon chemistry.

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