The Graphene name started at the University of Manchester where the 2 team up of phycisists, Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov have shown that carbon in such a flat form has exceptional properties that originate from the remarkable world of quantum physics. It was succeeded the first to isolate graphene in 2004, and their research to found a thin flake of ordinary carbon, just one atom thick, lies behind 2010 year’s Nobel Prize in Physics
Graphene is a derivative of carbon, the material is completely new formed material, designed to be flexible and stretchable but unbreakable, not only the thinnest ever but also the strongest ever existed. It is made up of only one layer of bonded carbon atoms, making it the thinnest substance ever, and almost transparent. But it is also 200 times stronger than steel and an excellent conductor of heat and electricity. yet so dense that not even Helium, the smallest gas atom, can pass through it. Carbon, the basis of all known life on earth, has surprised us once again. As we all know, the magnificent diamond also carbon matter.
Because of these properties, graphene has many possible applications across different sectors from technology, medicine, energy and transport. It can be used in smartphone touch screens, computers, batteries, energy storage, electric cars, wearable technology, water purification, medical implants, lightweight aircraft or wind turbines.
Geim and Novoselov extracted the graphene from a piece of graphite such as is found in ordinary pencils. Using regular adhesive tape they managed to obtain a flake of carbon with a thickness of just one atom. This at a time when many believed it was impossible for such thin crystalline materials to be stable.
However, with graphene, physicists can now study a new class of two-dimensional materials with unique properties. Graphene makes experiments possible that give new twists to the phenomena in quantum physics. Also a vast variety of practical applications now appear possible including the creation of new materials and the manufacture of innovative electronics. Graphene Transistor mean Semiconductors are predicted to be substantially faster than today’s silicon transistors and result in more efficient computers.
Since it is practically transparent and a good conductor, graphene is suitable for producing transparent touch screens, light panels, and maybe even solar cells.
When mixed into plastics, graphene can turn them into conductors of electricity while making them more heat resistant and mechanically robust. This resilience can be utilised in new super strong materials, which are also thin, elastic and lightweight. In the future, satellites, airplanes, and cars could be manufactured out of the new composite materials.
This year’s Laureates have been working together for a long time now. Konstantin Novoselov, 36, first worked with Andre Geim, 51, as a PhD-student in the Netherlands. He subsequently followed Geim to the United Kingdom. Both of them originally studied and began their careers as physicists in Russia. Now they are both professors at the University of Manchester. (Picture credit: Shutterstock)