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Website: www.graphene.manchester.ac.uk

Started: 2003

Based: Manchester

Graphene is a carbon based material now regarded as the strongest material known to man.

Working at the University of Manchester, Professors Geim and Novoselov's breakthrough emerged during a 2004 experiment involving a block of graphite and some Scotch tape. The two used the tape to strip off layers of carbon that were only one atom thick. These atomically thin crystals of carbon, known as graphene, were found to have extraordinary properties. Tests showed the graphene layers were stretchy, as strong as steel and almost completely transparent.

Research suggests graphene is 200 times stronger than structural steel. It is also an exceptional thermal and electric conductor and can be used to develop smaller and more powerful semiconductor circuits and computer parts. Some 200 companies and start-ups are now involved in research around graphene.

Professor Geim is Langworthy Research Professor at The University of Manchester. He serves as Director of the Manchester Centre for Mesoscience and Nanotechnology, based at The University of Manchester, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society. 

Professor Kostya Novoselov completed his PhD at the High Magnetic Field Laboratory at The University of Nijmegen, in 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.