Graphene is one of the crystalline forms of carbon, alongside diamond, graphite, carbon nanotubes and fullerenes. In this material, carbon atoms are arranged in a regular hexagonal pattern. Graphene can be described as a one-atom thick layer of the layered mineral graphite. High-quality graphene is very strong, light, nearly transparent, and an excellent conductor of heat and electricity. Its interaction with other materials and with light and its inherently two-dimensional nature produce unique properties.
At the time of its isolation in 2004, many researchers studying carbon nanotubes were already familiar with the composition, structure and properties of graphene, which had been calculated decades earlier. The combination of familiarity, extraordinary properties and surprising ease of isolation enabled an explosion in graphene research. Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov at the University of Manchester won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2010 “for groundbreaking experiments regarding the two-dimensional material graphene”.