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"Instant Expert: Graphene", by A. Castro Neto and Andre Geim

Engineering carbon

Diamond's glittering hardness is all down to the bonding between carbon atoms within. From buckyballs to nanotubes, new artificial forms of carbon can be exploited in exciting ways. Graphene is just the latest example.

Super-properties

Graphene consists of sheets of carbon just one atom thick, can be folded like plastic film, yet is stronger than diamond and conducts electricity better than copper or gold.

Applications

Already used in applications as diverse as body scanning and discovering the origin of mass, superconductors hold promise for even greater technologies.

Entering Flatland

Graphene-based transistors could be much faster than silicones - and are already becoming reality. As we hone our ability to manipulate material on the nanoscale, a new universe of two-dimensional materials like graphene could be explored in exciting ways.

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