Exactly 10 years ago, on Oct. 5, 2010, MIPT alumni Andre Geim and Kostya Novoselov received a Nobel Prize “for groundbreaking experiments regarding the two-dimensional material graphene.”
Graphene is the two-dimensional form of carbon. Speculations regarding its existence go back to the 19th century, but no scientist could reliably prove it. In 1859, graphene oxide was synthesized for the first time, and it took almost a century until electron microscopy could establish, in 1948, that this material was extremely thin. Later on, researchers managed to observe atomically thin particles in graphene oxide. The ’70s saw attempts to grow carbon on various metal substrates, and in the ’90s, materials scientists studied the electrical properties of thin graphite films. In 1986, the material finally got an official name: graphene.
In 2004, Science published a paper by Andre Geim and Kostya Novoselov, in which the physicists reported obtaining graphene on an oxidized silicon substrate.
The discovery marked a scientific breakthrough, eventually revealing much more about 2D materials than the entire body of research over the past centuries.
To find out about the current developments in 2D materials science at MIPT, browse the University’s research news archive. Or have a look at the interviews with Geim and Novoselov in the MIPT community on Facebook.
Photo. Nobel laureates Andre Geim (left) and Kostya Novoselov. Credit: Jon Super Photography