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The Graphene Story

AZO_Nano_Graphene_2017
(Graphene, AZO Nano)
 
 
[Graphene Flagship]: Although sporadic attempts to study graphene can be traced back to 1859, there has been an explosion in research around the material since 2004, when Professor Sir Andre Geim and Professor Sir Kostya Novoselov of the University of Manchester discovered and isolated a single atomic layer of carbon for the first time. The pair received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2010 in recognition of their breakthrough. 

 

The ‘Scotch tape method’ used at Manchester was so simple and effective that this area of science grew extremely quickly, and now hundreds of laboratories around the world deal with different aspects of graphene research. Also known as the micromechanical cleavage technique, the Scotch tape method does not require large investments or complicated equipment, which has helped to broaden the geography of graphene science considerably.

The Brief Graphene Story

 

[Independent]: "The graphene story: how Andrei Geim and Kostya Novoselov hit on a scientific breakthrough that changed the world... by playing with sticky tape.

Two Russian-émigré scientists at the University of Manchester, Andrei Geim and Kostya Novoselov, were playing about with flakes of carbon graphite in an attempt to investigate its electrical properties when they decided to see if they could make thinner flakes with the help of sticky Scotch tape.

They used the tape to peel off a layer of graphite from its block and then repeatedly peeled off further layers from the original cleaved flake until they managed to get down to flakes that were only a few atoms thick. They soon realised that by repeatedly sticking and peeling back the Scotch tape they could get down to the thinnest of all possible layers, one atom thick – a material with unique and immensely interesting properties.

When the two scientists won their joint Nobel prize in physics in 2010 for their ground-breaking experiments, the Nobel committee made a point of citing the “playfulness” that was one of the hallmarks of the way they have worked together.

Playing about with Scotch tape on a Friday afternoon sounds a jokey thing to do, but it soon turned into a deadly serious game of scientific discovery which would have been impossible if not for the well-prepared minds of Geim and Novoselov.

“A playful idea is perfect to start things but then you need a really good scientific intuition that your playful experiment will lead to something, or it will stay as a joke for ever,” Novoselov says. “Joking for a week or two is the right way to go, but you don’t want to make your whole research into a joke.”"

 

Graphene Timeline:

 

Graphene_Timeline_072918A
(Graphene Timeline, Graphene Flagship)

 

 

[More to come ...]

 

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