Updated: Monday, 1st September 2014 @ 11:54am

Miracle graphene will transform solar energy and 'power entire buildings', claim Manchester scientists

Miracle graphene will transform solar energy and 'power entire buildings', claim Manchester scientists

By Danielle Wainwright

Wonder material graphene could revolutionise solar energy, according to Manchester scientists.

University of Manchester Nobel Laureates Professor Kostya Novoselov and Professor Andre Geim, along with researchers from the National University of Singapore, published their findings in journal Science

The research suggests that by combining graphene with one-atom thick materials it could create the next generation of solar cells, which may provide enough electricity to run entire buildings.

Graphene is the world’s strongest material and is hailed as the future of scientific development, yet one sheet, made up of pure carbon, weighs only 0.77.mg

Professor Novoselov said: “We are excited about the new physics and new opportunities which are brought to us by heterostructures based on 2D atomic crystals.”

University of Manchester researcher and lead author Dr Liam Britnell added: “It was impressive how quickly we passed from the idea of such photosensitive heterostructures to the working device.

“It worked practically from the very beginning and even the most unoptimised structures showed very respectable characteristics.”

Stronger than diamond but as stretchable as rubber, graphene was first isolated by Professor Novoselov and University of Manchester colleague Andre Geim in 2004.

Both scientists won the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics ‘for groundbreaking experiments regarding the two-dimensional material graphene.’

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