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graphene

graphene, virtually transparent, highly conductive carbon material in which the atoms are organized into a honeycomblike arrangement and form a thin sheet that is one atom thick. Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov won the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics for their discovery of the material (2004) and experiments concerning its properties. The structure and properties of graphene make it suitable for a broad range of applications, and it is being investigated for possible use in such products as smart displays, ultrafast transistors, tough composites, and quantum-dot computers. Some of the material's unique properties—electrons move through graphene like massless waves—also have allowed physicists to use simple benchtop laboratory equipment, rather than expensive telescopes and particle accelerators, to test quantum mechanical predictions, and it has been used to contain liquids for for study with electron microscopes.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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