Graphene: carbon in two dimensions
Carbon is one of the most intriguing elements in the Periodic Table. It forms many allotropes, some known from ancient times (diamond and graphite) and some discovered 10-20 years ago (fullerenes and nanotubes). Interestingly, the two-dimensional form (graphene) was only obtained very recently, immediately attracting a great deal of attention. Electrons in graphene, obeying a linear dispersion relation, behave like massless relativistic particles. This results in the observation of a number of very peculiar electronic properties – from an anomalous quantum Hall effect to the absence of localization – in this, the first two-dimensional material. It also provides a bridge between condensed matter physics and quantum electrodynamics, and opens new perspectives for carbon-based electronics.