|Konstantin Novoselov&Irina Grigorieva & ndre Geim|
The carbon-carbon bond length in graphene is about 0.142 nanometers. Graphene sheets stack to form graphite with an interplanar spacing of 0.335 nm, which means that a stack of 3 million sheets would be only one millimeter thick. Graphene is the basic structural element of some carbon allotropes including graphite, charcoal, carbon nanotubes and fullerenes. It can also be considered as an indefinitely large aromatic molecule, the limiting case of the family of flat polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.
The theory behind the substance graphene was first explored by theoretical physicist Philip Wallace in 1947 as kind of a starting point when he was doing research trying to understand the electronic properties of more complex, 3D graphite. although the name graphene wasn't actually coined until 40 years later, where it was used to describe single sheets of graphite. In other words, it's the name given to a flat monolayer of carbon atoms that are tightly packed into a 2D honeycomb lattice; like a molecular chicken-wire that is one atom thick. It's essentially the basic building block for graphitic materials of all other dimensionalities; it's a stepping stone to building bigger things. Graphene in itself however wasn't discovered until 2004 in its full observable and testable form.
Since then, in the past 6 years, scientists have discovered that the substance retains some amazing properties. Some say that it will be heralded as one of the materials that will literally change our lives in the 21st century. Not only is graphene the thinnest possible material that is feasible, but it's also about 200 times stronger than steel and conducts electricity better than any material known to man—at room temperature. Researchers at Columbia University's Fu Foundation School of Engineering who proved that graphene is the strongest material ever measured said that "It would take an elephant, balanced on a pencil, to break through a sheet of graphene the thickness of Saran Wrap."
2010 Nobel Prize for "groundbreaking experiments regarding the two-dimensional material graphene"(shared with Novoselov)
2010 Royal Society Hughes Medal for "discovery of graphene and elucidation of its remarkable properties"
2010 NAS John J Cart Award for "the realisation and investigation of graphene, the two-dimensional form of carbon"
2009 Korber Prize for "developing the first two-dimensional crystals made of carbon atoms"
2008 Europhysics Prize for "discovering and isolating a single free-standing atomic layer of carbon (graphene) and elucidating its remarkable electronic properties" (shared with Novoselov)
2007 Mott Prize for "the discovery of a new class of materials 2D atomic crystals particularly graphene"
Andre Geim's speech at the Nobel Banquet, 10 December 2010
Your Majesties, Your Royal Highnesses, Ladies and Gentlemen, Colleagues and Friends
A lot of praise has already been given to our work and the exciting new material graphene. We will certainly hear even more tribute as graphene’s impact on our lives becomes more obvious. So, let me refrain from further praise because today is also an occasion to celebrate something else.
The last decades were relatively peaceful and quiet for the planet. But with no obvious danger from outside, we are facing another danger, from inside. Instant information about everything and everyone often allows an individual opinion to compete with consensus and paranoia with evidence. It is a time when one blunt honest statement can finish a life-long political career, and one opinionated journalist can bully a government or a royal family. Science is not immune from such pressures. For example, how many Nobel prize-winning experiments – you think – would have been stopped, if ethics or health-and-safety regulations at that time were as zealous as they are today? I can think of more than a few.
Human progress has always been driven by a sense of adventure and unconventional thinking. But amidst calls for "bread and circuses", these virtues are often forgotten for the sake of cautiousness and political correctness that now rule the world. And we sink deeper and deeper from democracy into a state of mediocrity and even idiocracy. If you need an example, look no further than at research funding by the European Commission.
Against this backdrop I salute the Royal Swedish Academy for keeping the candle of merit alive. The great esteem in which the Nobel prizes are universally held is due to the fact that for several generations they have been given purely on scientific merit and not through lobbying and politicking. I do hope that it will stay this way, and the prizes will never be given according to the number of votes in live TV contests!
Let me also thank the Royal family for lending their unwavering support to the great Nobel tradition. It is a great feeling to partake in the lavish celebrations that put scientific achievement on such a high pedestal. The generosity of the Nobel foundation and all the Swedish people contribute to making the prize so very special.
From the very bottom of my heart, thank you all
P Konstantin Novoselov was born in Russia in August 1974. He also has British citizenship.
He completed his PhD at the High Magnetic Field Laboratory at The University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands in 2004 and joined The University of Manchester as a Leverhulme Research Fellow in 2005.
He also holds the position of Royal Society Research Fellow at The University. In 2008 he was named as one of The University of Manchester’s Researchers of the Year.
Prof Novoselov has published over 90 peer-refereed research papers, mainly as the principal or corresponding author, including several in Nature and Science.
His pioneering work with Prof Andre Geim led to the discovery of two-dimensional crystals made of carbon atoms, and most notably graphene.
In 2008 Prof Novoselov was selected from more than 300 nominees under the age of 35 by a panel of expert judges and the editorial staff of Technology Review following his discovery of graphene with Professor Andre Geim in 2004.
In September of the same year, Prof Novoselov and Prof Geim were awarded the prestigious Europhysics Prize for discovering graphene - and also their subsequent work to reveal its remarkable electronic properties.
Since the discovery of graphene in 2004, Prof Geim and Prof Novoselov have published numerous research papers in prestigious journals such as Science and Nature, which have demonstrated the exquisite new physics for the material and its potential in novel applications such as transistors just one atom thick and sensors that can detect just a single molecule of a toxic gas.
In April 2008, Prof Geim, Prof Novoselov and Dr Leonid Ponomarenko published a paper in the leading journal Science, which reported that they had used graphene to create the world's smallest transistor, one atom thick and ten atoms wide.
Novoselov’s original joint paper on grapheme in Science in 2004 has also been acknowledged as “one of the most cited recent papers in the field of Physics” according to the ISI citation index.
• 2008 Europhysics Prize, "for discovering and isolating a single free-standing atomic layer of carbon (graphene) and elucidating its remarkable electronic properties