The energy mitigation properties of buckyballs are investigated using molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. A one dimensional buckyball long chain is employed as a unit cell of granular fullerene particles. Two types of buckyballs i.e. C60 and C720 with recoverable and non-recoverable behaviors are chosen respectively. For C60 whose deformation is relatively small, a dissipative contact model is proposed. Over 90% of the total impact energy is proven to be mitigated through interfacial reflection of wave propagation, the van der Waals interaction, covalent potential energy and atomistic kinetic energy evidenced by the decent force attenuation and elongation of transmitted impact. Further, the C720 system is found to outperform its C60 counterpart and is able to mitigate over 99% of the total kinetic energy by using a much shorter chain thanks to its non-recoverable deformation which enhances the four energy dissipation terms. Systematic studies are carried out to elucidate the effects of impactor speed and mass, as well as buckyball size and number on the system energy mitigation performance. This one dimensional buckyball system is especially helpful to deal with the impactor of high impact speed but small mass. The results may shed some lights on the research of high-efficiency energy mitigation material selections and structure designs. © 2013 Xu et al.