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2010 Nobel prize in Physics — Two-dimensional material graphene

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Colorized view of graphene synthesis on Cu using Chemical Vapor Deposition (Institut NEEL)

The Nobel Prize in Physics 2010 was awarded jointly to Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov "for groundbreaking experiments regarding the two-dimensional material graphene".

Graphene is a two-dimensional material made of a network of carbon atoms. Graphite, the black-writting material found in pencils, had long been known to consist of stacks of graphene sheets, however individual graphene sheets could not be studied individually. Geim and Novoselov extracted graphene from a piece of graphite, and proceeded to ground-breaking optical and charge-transport experiments. Many unique features of graphene result from the two-dimensional nature of the crystal, and its vanishing density of states and linear dispersion at the Fermi level, making it neither a metal nor a semiconductor.

These developments opened an area of intense and broad research on graphene. The number of publications and patents rose exponential at a steep rate on a few years’ time. Graphene has raised hope for its use as nearly transparent althouh conductive and flexible electrode for eg displays, or for ultrafast electronics and spintronics. This led to the selection of graphene as the ground of one of the two European Flaship programmes.

Scientists of Institut NEEL have been contributing to graphene research since these early days, and are now a strong center in the field. Producing graphene relies on several large-scale approaches like sublimation on SiC or CVD on metals. Our focus lies in transport and mechanical properties, hybrid systems and devices. Approaches include optical, transport, microscopy and theory.

Links

- Home page of the 2010 Nobel prize in Physics
- European flagship on Graphene

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