A University of Manchester researcher, who led a team that discovered an amazing new type of ultra-thin material, has been given a prestigious prize for his ‘remarkable contribution’ to science.
Professor Andre Geim of the School of Physics and Astronomy has been awarded the 2007 Mott Medal and Prize by the Institute of Physics for his ground-breaking work.
The research of Professor Geim, Dr Kostya Novoselov and colleagues at the University led to the discovery of a new class of materials called two-dimensional atomic crystals back in 2004.
But it is graphene that has caused a real stir in the world of science.
Graphene is a single layer of carbon atoms densely packed in a honeycomb crystal lattice. The material is made from splitting graphite apart into individual atomic planes, through a process similar to tracing with a pencil. The resulting atomic sheet is unexpectedly stable, highly flexible and strong, and very conductive.
One of many unique properties of graphene is that its electrons mimic particles moving with the speed of light, which presents an easy way for scientists to study relativistic phenomena.
In November 2005, a team of British, Russian and Dutch scientists led by Professor Geim, used graphene to test Einstein’s theory of relativity in a table-top experiment. Until then, it was only possible to test the famous theory by building expensive machinery or by studying stars in distant galaxies.
The team’s discovery has the potential to speed up future discoveries and save billions of pounds, now that tests can be set up using graphene and relatively inexpensive laboratory equipment.
Professor Geim and his team have also found that graphene exhibits a remarkable quality, which means that electrons can travel without any scattering over submicron distances. This is important for making very fast switching transistors.
In the quest to make the computer chip more powerful and faster, engineers are striving to produce smaller transistors, shortening the paths electrons have to travel to switch the devices on and off.
Ultimately, scientists envisage transistors made from a single molecule, and Professor Geim’s work has brought that vision ever nearer. In the future, it could lead to a computer being carved entirely out of a single sheet of graphene.
"It is certainly nice and somewhat unexpected to be acknowledged at such an early stage,” said Professor Geim. “Although it was found only two years ago, graphene has proved itself as a truly remarkable material, with a wealth of new physics coming out.
“It is too early to speak about real applications. However, all the indications are that graphene will be not just another new material but will find a multitude of applications so that everyone might eventually be influenced by this discovery.”
Professor John Durell, Head of the School of Physics and Astronomy said: “We are delighted that the outstanding research work of Andre Geim and his team has been recognised by the award of the Mott Medal and Prize by the Institute of Physics.
“The discovery of graphene has led to the creation of a new and exciting ‘laboratory’ for the study of fundamental science. Future development of production techniques could lead to applications with the potential to revolutionise electronic devices."
The Institute of Physics said its 2007 awards honour physicists who have made remarkable contributions to science.
Jon Keighren | alfa
NASA's fermi finds possible dark matter ties in andromeda galaxy
22.02.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Tune your radio: galaxies sing while forming stars
21.02.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie
In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport
Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...
The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.
The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...
Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...
Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".
Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...
13.02.2017 | Event News
10.02.2017 | Event News
09.02.2017 | Event News
22.02.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
22.02.2017 | Life Sciences
22.02.2017 | Innovative Products