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Graphene Wins 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics

October 5, 2010

Andre Geim (age 51) and Konstantin Novoselov (age 36) from Univ of Manchester won this year’s Nobel prize in physics for their innovative and pathbreaking work in the field of Graphene. Congratulations!! What’s interesting to note here is that they are probably the quickest recipient of Nobel prize after their discovery. They reported a novel technique of generating Graphene sheet in 2004 and they won the prize in 2010, that’s pretty fast! They were predicted to win the Nobel prize in 2008 by Thomson Reuters.

Graphene is a form of carbon. As a material it is completely new – not only the thinnest ever but also the strongest. As a conductor of electricity it performs as well as copper. As a conductor of heat it outperforms all other known materials. It is almost completely transparent, 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.

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. [Nobelprize.org]

Interestingly, I attended few talks yesterday and have to attend to few more today focused on  Graphene and Carbon nanotubes!! To know more about Graphene, here is a great article written by Nobel Laureates themselves in 2007 which was published in Nature Materials. The abstract of the article is as follows:

Nature Materials 6, 183 – 191 (2007)
doi:10.1038/nmat1849

The rise of graphene

A. K. Geim1 & K. S. Novoselov1


Abstract

Graphene is a rapidly rising star on the horizon of materials science and condensed-matter physics. This strictly two-dimensional material exhibits exceptionally high crystal and electronic quality, and, despite its short history, has already revealed a cornucopia of new physics and potential applications, which are briefly discussed here. Whereas one can be certain of the realness of applications only when commercial products appear, graphene no longer requires any further proof of its importance in terms of fundamental physics. Owing to its unusual electronic spectrum, graphene has led to the emergence of a new paradigm of ‘relativistic’ condensed-matter physics, where quantum relativistic phenomena, some of which are unobservable in high-energy physics, can now be mimicked and tested in table-top experiments. More generally, graphene represents a conceptually new class of materials that are only one atom thick, and, on this basis, offers new inroads into low-dimensional physics that has never ceased to surprise and continues to provide a fertile ground for applications.

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2 Comments Leave a Comment

  • 1. Science Is Beautiful &raq&hellip  |  October 5, 2010 at 11:17 am

    […] Physics: Winner Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov for pathbreaking work in graphene […]

  • 2. xxl maroc  |  October 6, 2010 at 3:56 am

    Truly amazing. I wonder what this material’s conductivity is when supercooled. Imagine a transparent tablet computer that’s nearly indestructible.

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