Russian scientists awarded Nobel for discovery of graphene

Two Russian scientists have won the Nobel Prize for Physics for their work developing graphene.

Andrei Geim and Konstantin Novoselov demonstrated that carbon in this extremely thin form – just one atom thick – had exceptional properties originating in the world of quantum physics.

Konstantin Novoselov is a Royal Society Research Fellow at the University of Manchester in their Mesoscopic Research Group researching mesoscopic systems and nanostructures.

He was awarded the 2008 Europhysics Prize for the same discovery.

Andre Geim is a physicist who, as well as the discovery of graphene, is known for the development of gecko tape and demonstrations of diamagnetic levitation. He’s also based at the University of Manchester.

Graphene is both the thinnest and the strongest material yet discovered. Geim and Novoselov extracted it from ordinary graphite, and used ordinary adhesive tape to obtain a flake of carbon with a thickness of just one atom.

“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,” says the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

“A vast variety of practical applications now appear possible including the creation of new materials and the manufacture of innovative electronics. Graphene transistors are predicted to be substantially faster than today’s silicon transistors and result in more efficient computers.”