World's slenderest material to shape future computers

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Thanks to graphene, research institutes worldwide are already looking at ways to build better touch-screens, ultrafast transistors and photo-detectors.

Graphene permits flow of electrons at much higher speeds than they do in silicon, the substance that existing computer chips rely on.

The material's amazing flexibility would help scientists design smartphones and computers that could be folded into any shape or design. Graphene is also 200 times tougher than steel, according to a University of Manchester, Britain, statement.

Graphene, a single layer of carbon atoms, was discovered by Konstantin Sergeevich Novoselov and Andre Geim, at the university. They shared the 2010 Nobel Prize for physics for work on the material.

They prepared extremely high-quality graphene devices by suspending the sheets of the material in a vacuum to avoid scattering electrons, engaging them to interact much more intensely.

"The progress has been possible due to a quantum leap in improvement of the sample quality which could be produced at the University of Manchester," Geim said.

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