Graphene could help reduce the energy cost of producing heavy water and decontamination in nuclear power plants by over one hundred times compared with current technologies, University of Manchester research indicates.
One Friday, the two scientists removed some flakes from a lump of bulk graphite with sticky tape. They noticed some flakes were thinner than others. By separating the graphite fragments repeatedly they managed to create flakes which were just one atom thick. They had isolated graphene for the first time.
This playful approach is fundamental to how both Andre and Kostya work. It is seen as both a useful way of maintaining interest as well as a means of generating new ideas.
This tradition is continued today by all graphene researchers at The University of Manchester via weekly Friday afternoon seminars.
The whole team from Nobel Laureates to new PhD students meet to share and discuss new research.