The 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics goes to the University of Manchester’s Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov for their investigations of the two-dimensional material graphene. Ordinary so-called pencil lead is graphite, a three-dimensional form of carbon. Flat layers of carbon, one-atom thick, are called graphene. The researchers extracted graphene from graphite using ordinary adhesive tape. Both born in Russia, Geim, 52, and Novoselov, just 36, showed that graphene has unusual properties related to quantum effects.
Physicist Per Delsing explained at the announcement from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences: “The electronic structure of graphene is very unusual. It’s a transparent conductor and as such it can be used as touch screens, solar cells, light panels. If you put graphene into other materials, such as epoxy or plastic, you can make very light and very strong materials, which is interesting for satellites and aircraft, but it’s also that you can make flexible electronics. And so these are examples of the applications, and the pioneers that really did this were these two gentlemen.”
[The above text is an exact transcript of this podcast.]