The “2D-Foundry” is a research team of Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Madrid belonging to CSIC. The main mission of this Institute is to create new fundamental and applied knowledge in materials of high technological impact, their processing and their transfer to the productive sectors at local, national and International scales, the training of new professionals, and the dissemination of the scientific knowledge.
When material physicists discovered that compounds sliced into thin films behave very differently than usual, they laid the foundation for a technological revolution that in a few years could transform the world.
In 2005, physicists Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov pulled up a few pieces of graphite with Scotch tape (the substance of the pencil lead) and obtained a hexagonal crystal monolayer, graphene. In analyzing that slice, which has no more than one atom of thickness, it has realized that its properties differed considerably from those of graphite.
Graphene is extremely hard and resistant, transparent, and flexible like plastic. In addition, it conducts extraordinarily well the heat and the electricity: the atomic lattice that conforms becomes a highway for the electrons, that circulate by it with great speed.
“It is the thinnest known material in the universe, and the strongest ever measured” (Andre Geim, Manchester Univ. in Science).
Since the discovery of graphene, groups of researchers who experiment with this and other two-dimensional materials have not stopped analyzing their electrical characteristics and the phenomena that emerge from them when, for example, they combine them together to form multi-layer compounds. Phosphorene, molybdenum diselenide or tungsten disulphide are some of these miraculous materials, and the list goes on to grow.
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