Andre Geim and Konstantin, two Russian-born scientists, won Physics Nobel

Posted by David Khoirul

Andre GeimAndre Geim is a 51-year-old Dutch citizen. He is a friend of Konstantin Novoselov, 36, a professor at the University of Manchester in the U.K.

Both Gaim and Novoselov will share the 10 million-Swedish kronor $1.5 million prize for investigating the remarkable properties of ultra-thin carbon flakes known as graphene, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said today in Stockholm.

Graphene is a form of carbon in which the atoms are arranged in a flat hexagon lattice like microscopic chicken wire, a single atom thick.

Samsung Electronics Co. and International Business Machines Corp. are among the companies working with the material, the thinnest and strongest substance ever discovered. Nearly transparent yet dense, graphene conducts heat and electricity, giving it potential uses in light panels and computers, the academy said in a statement.

Samsung is experimenting with graphene at the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology in Kiheung, South Korea. IBM researchers demonstrated the world's fastest graphene transistor in a paper in the journal Science in February. Nokia is looking at several potential applications of graphene in mobile communications, according to spokesman Mark Durrant.

"We knew about the method before, but everything is good in its own time, so one glance at it and we knew - that must be it," Dr. Novoselov told ScienceWatch.com in 2009.

Geim declined to predict which application of graphene might be the most important. "There are so many," he said.

Novoselov is a Russian and British citizen. He began working with Geim as a PhD student in the Netherlands, then followed the older scientist to the U.K., according to the academy's statement

"That's a new kind of thing to study. It's like the Large Hadron Collider, but on your desktop," Dr. Geim said in his ScienceWatch.com interview.

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