Photo: Courtesy University of Manchester.
The story of graphene goes back to some 158 years ago, where in 1859, Sir Benjamin Collins Brodie described the highly lamellar structure of thermally reduced graphite oxide. But it wasn’t until 1916 that the structure of graphite was first discovered, and not until 1947 for P. R. Wallace to consider the theoretical existence of graphene. The arrival of electron microscopy in 1948 gave the world the first images of few-layers graphite, closely followed by the observation of single graphene layers by Ruess and Vogt. Since then, the pursuit of “isolating graphene” started, and it wasn’t until 2004 that Prof. Andre Geim and Prof. Constantine Novoselov were able to “pull” graphene layers from graphite, a discovery which earned them the Nobel prize in 2010.