October 5, 2010...Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov, two researchers who began their careers in Russia, have been awarded the 2010 Nobel prize for physics "for groundbreaking experiments regarding the two-dimensional material graphene."
Geim and Novoselov, both now professors at the University of Manchester, extracted graphene from a piece of graphite using regular adhesive tape, according to the Nobel organization. They were able to obtain a flake of carbon in the graphene form, which at the time, 2004, was thought to be unstable, unlike the fullerene C60 allotrope where the carbon sheet is wrapped up into ball.
However, graphene is the world’s thinnest material and is also the strongest, while being stiff and yet flexible and extremely good conductor of heat and electricity.
Electrons travel further in graphene than in any other material, opening up a range of electronic applications. These include: graphene transistors that could help communications technologies exploit the terahertz part of the electromagnetic spectrum; high performance graphene-based integrated circuits and toxin and pollution sensors that are more sensitive than those currently available.
Graphene is also suitable for use in touch screens and optical applications and holds out promise for the creation of thin, elastic, lightweight composite materials.
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. The laureates share the SEK 10 million prize (about $1.5 million) equally.
Professor David Delpy, chief executive of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, said: "This work represents an enormously important scientific development; an exciting new material that has a huge range of applications and will no doubt bring significant benefits to the U.K. economy. EPSRC has been supporting research by Professor Geim and his group for nearly 10 years and our latest grant has enabled the U.K. to retain the key academic and research staff behind this discovery, who might otherwise have been lost to foreign institutions."