The 2010 Nobel Prize
for Graphene Nanotechnology

by Eric Drexler on 2010/10/05

Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov have just won the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics “for groundbreaking experiments regarding the two-dimensional material graphene”, and their work has opened a broad frontier in nanotechnology.

Graphene is best known for its remarkable electronic properties, which make it both a wonderland for physicists and a contender for future transistors with performance beyond what silicon can deliver: Graphene can serve as a conductor; graphene ribbons can serve as semiconductors; and Geim and Novoselov coauthored a recent paper showing that modified graphene can serve as an insulator, too.

Geim and Novoselov remark that this work “illustrates the concept of graphene as a robust atomic-scale scaffold on the basis of which new two-dimensional crystals with designed electronic and other properties can be created by attaching other atoms and molecules”.

Chemists have also expanded the frontiers of atomically precise graphene fabrication through (for example) “Synthesis of a giant 222 carbon graphite sheet” and “Atomically precise bottom-up fabrication of graphene nanoribbons”, which the authors note should “provide a route to graphene nanoribbon structures with engineered chemical and electronic properties, including the theoretically predicted intraribbon quantum dots, superlattice structures and magnetic devices” (Nature, July 2010).

Graphene applications extend to molecular machine systems, where graphene can form both strong, stiff structures and excellent bearings to support moving parts. Developments in graphene nanotechnology may be key to the development of nanomechanical systems for atomically precise fabrication.


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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

xxl maroc October 6, 2010 at 7:57 am UTC

Truly amazing. I wonder what this material’s conductivity is when supercooled. Imagine a transparent tablet computer that’s nearly indestructible.

GK October 7, 2010 at 12:29 am UTC

Eric:

The Chemistry Prize for discovering palladium catalysis for C-C bonds is also relevant to MNT.

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-sci-nobel-chemistry-20101007,0,6122598.story?track=rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+latimes%2Fnews%2Fnationworld%2Fworld+%28L.A.+Times+-+World+News%29


Hi, GK — I agree, and I’m glad to see that Suzuki, in particular, got the award. These techniques are useful for molecular system building today, as I discuss here: “Boronate esters, Suzuki coupling, self-assembly, design software, etc.”

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