Graphene has been theorized by scientists for decades, but it was only in 2004 that these atom-thin sheets of carbon (in the form of graphite) were isolated, leading to the two scientists responsible for the feat — Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov at the University of Manchester — being awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics. This material has many unusual properties that have excited researchers ever since it was isolated for its potential applications in fields as diverse as energy, electronics, medicine, sensors, light processing, and water filtration.
But science would be no good if it was content with what has been discovered over a decade ago, and scientists have been on the lookout for new nanomaterials that go beyond graphene. One such researcher who has been successful in this endeavor is Alexandra Boltasseva, a professor at the Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana. At the ongoing 4th International Conference on Quantum Technologies in Moscow, she sat down with the International Business Times to talk about the work she is doing, and why it matters, starting with why it is important to not be content with graphene.
“Lasers and optical fibers could have been invented long before they actually were. Everyone already knew how to guide light inside dielectrics, but it was only when people developed the right materials with the right set of properties and the right purity that we got internet connections between continents that allow us to Skype and use social media. It is the same sort of thing. In order to enable technologies, we ought to look in materials and see what new properties we can bring to the table. We appreciate and love graphene, and work with it, but that is not the end, it is just the beginning,” she said.
The full story is available below.
Source: International Business Times