The 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics is…



This picture shows graphene, formed by linked carbon atoms that are only one layer thick. The discovery on how to develop this material led to Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov being awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics.

In 2004, Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov were looking for a metallic substance that could be used as a semiconductor. They thought that a layer of graphite that was one atom thick, called graphene, would be able to conduct both electricity and heat and be practically invisible. In theory graphene could do this, but in order to test its conductive properties, Geim and Novoselov set about figuring out how to make sheets of graphene. It was previously thought that two-dimensional sheets of carbon atoms would be unstable and would warp or fold up, but Geim and Novoselov, using adhesive tape isolated a layer of graphite that was one atom thick. Contrary to belief, it was not unstable and did not warp or fold up.

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