Knighthoods for Nobel-winning Stronger than Steel Graphene Pioneers

We have some exciting news to share!

Two Nobel laureates funded by AFOSR, involved in the creation and isolation of graphene, a sheet of carbon just one atom thick, have received British knighthoods from the Queen of England.

Professors Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov, from the University of Manchester, Great Britain, won the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics for their pioneering research in graphene, which they first isolated in their seminal work of 2004 and 2005. 

AFOSR’s European Office of Aerospace Research (EOARD) has funded their work to further the promise of graphene since 2008.  And now they add knighthoods to the honors as bestowed by the Queen’s New Year Honours List 2012.

Geim and Novoselov demonstrated graphene’s remarkable qualities as the thinnest material in the universe and quite possibly the strongest ever measured.  In addition to those amazing characteristics, its charge carriers—that is, the electrons that transport the electric charge in an induced electric current—exhibited the highest intrinsic mobility with zero effective mass, and can travel micron distances without scattering at room temperature. 

Graphene boasts multiple record electric and mechanical properties including the highest sustainable electric current, one million times copper; the highest thermal conductivity and mechanical strength both exceeding diamond, while at the same time it’s the thinnest material possible at one atom thick, and still stretchable, flexible, and impermeable. 

Some scientists have predicted that graphene could one day replace silicon – which is the current material of choice for transistors.  It could also yield incredibly strong, flexible and stable materials and find applications in transparent touch screens or solar cells.  Our European office, EOARD, has aggressively followed up on this program, as have many others within the DoD research community.