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December 25, 2010, 12:00 am

Christmas is here in Nano-land!

Graphene - the form of carbon studied by the winners of this year's Nobel Prize in Physics - made into a Christmas tree... could it be the smallest in the world?

What was discovered?

Carbon sheets, known as graphene, are versatile and have many applications in the world of Nanotechnology.

This video describes the ways that carbon atoms can interact, and the formation of graphene.

How?

To say that the discovery of graphene was "child's play" would be unfair - but the creative thinking needed to apply everyday observations - such as peeling carbon from pencil lead using sticky tape - is vital in science!

Read more here.

Why is it important?

Nanotechnology is already improving the quality of our lives, using molecules to fight disease and trap energy from sunlight... and molecules such as graphene could revolutionising electronics!

More about the scientific background of graphene and its importance from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences here!

And for fun - look here for some other molecular Christmas trees - this time on a micro (rather than nano) scale - using fungi!

 

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