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Scientists comment on Nobel Prize in Physics 2010

The Nobel Prize in Physics 2010 has been awarded today to Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov, of the University of Manchester, "for groundbreaking experiments regarding the two-dimensional material graphene".

5 October 2010


Graphene is an atomic-scale honeycomb lattice made of carbon atoms. (Photo copyright: Alexander Alus, licensed by Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0)

Ton Peijs, Professor of Materials at Queen Mary, University of London, explains: "In the future, important new materials made from graphene could be used in transparent conducting materials such as  flexible displays or touch screens, sensors for gases or other biomedical applications, or as a reinforcement or conducting filler in composite materials.

"Graphene is incredibly strong, just like another important new nanomaterial - carbon nanotubes. It is said to be around 200 times stronger than structural steel, but it can be even stronger when made into a composite materials by embedding it in a polymer. This is because a graphene sheet has a large surface area and can form strong bonds which hold the material together."

Dr Mark Baxendale, Reader in Nanotechnology in Queen Mary's Department of Physics described the material graphene as "a one-atom-thick planar sheet of carbon atoms that are densely packed in a honeycomb crystal lattice (pictured above) - almost like an atomic-scale chicken wire made of carbon atoms and their bonds. Geim and Novoselov pioneered the techniques for isolation of single graphene layers and demonstrated the unique attributes of graphene with some outstanding experimental work."

Professor Peijs, who works in the School of Engineering and Materials Science, added: "Congratulations to Konstantin Novoselov and particularly Andre Geim, the 10th Dutchman to win the Nobel Prize for Physics."

For media information, contact:

Neha Okhandiar
Public Relations Manager
Queen Mary University of London
email: n.okhandiar@qmul.ac.uk
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