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discovered 02_2012

discovered 02.12 FOCUS WWW.Hzdr.DE There has been a veritable boom in research on graphene and everything related to it. Countless research groups around the world are concentrating on this special material, one conference after the other is dedicated to it, and thousands of scientific papers have appeared since graphene was discovered in 2004. Its discovery extremely quickly earned the Nobel Prize in physics in 2010. Graphene – a layer of carbon precisely one atom layer thick that looks like honeycomb under the scanning electron microscope – seems almost purposely made for our emerging technologies. Researchers are discovering a growing list of useful properties. To name but a few of its advantages, graphene is thin, transparent and stable, it can absorb light in the invisible infrared range, and its electrons behave like high-energy // Electrons lead a life of their own in a world of their own. Anyone talking to physicist Stephan Winnerl will surely come to the same conclusion. One of his fascinations is the astonishingly long life of electrons in the “wonder material“ graphene, for example. He is also working to improve our understanding of quantum dots in which only two or three electrons remain confined. _TEXT . Christine Bohnet & Stephan Winnerl Translation . Peter Gregg The strange life of electrons MEASUREMENTS: The adjustment laser focuses the microscope’s test prod. In the extension of the laser beam, the prod comes from above with the unit for positioning the sample immediately below.