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Graphene pioneers named ‘hottest researchers’

16 Mar 2010

Two scientists who discovered graphene at The University of Manchester have been listed among the world’s ‘hottest researchers’, according to the Times Higher Education (THE).

Dr Kostya Novoselov and Professor Andre Geim
Dr Kostya Novoselov and Professor Andre Geim

Professor Andre Geim and Dr Konstantin Novoselov from the School of Physics and Astronomy take joint second and third place respectively in the annual list compiled by data analyst Thomson Reuters.

Professor Geim and Dr Novoselov were the only UK researchers to feature in the table, and this is the second year in a row they’ve been listed. The ranking is based on the number of ‘hot papers’ researchers have produced that are under two years old and have been cited at a consistently high rate.

Professor Geim said: “We were very surprised to find ourselves on this list again.  This mainly shows how hot the subject of graphene is.  In the last few years thousands of researchers have started working on graphene worldwide, and now we need to compete with all of them.  The fact that we introduced graphene no longer counts in this rating.

“It is very hard to run in front of such a large crowd.  Is it good luck - yes, but mostly we are on the list thanks to very hard work.”

The two Manchester academics discovered graphene – the world’s thinnest material – in 2004, and it has rapidly become one of the hottest topics in materials science and solid-state physics.  Graphene not only promises to revolutionise semiconductor, sensor, and display technology, but could also lead to breakthroughs in fundamental quantum physics research.

The THE analysis covers 2008-09 and is based on citations measured by Thomson Reuters’ Web of Science database.  Professor Geim produced 13 ‘hot’ papers in the period, and Professor Novoselov produced 12

This is the latest in a long list of awards for the graphene pioneers; Prof Geim - Langworthy and Royal Society 2010 Anniversary Research Professor of Physics at the University of Manchester - received the prestigious John J. Carty Award for the Advancement of Science this year.  In 2009 he received the Körber European Science Award.

Professor Geim moved to The University of Manchester in 2001 and is currently Chair of Condensed Matter Physics, Langworthy Research Professor and Director of Manchester Centre for Mesoscience and Nanotechnology.

In 2008 Dr Novoselov, a Royal Society Research Fellow in The School of Physics and Astronomy, was named one of the world’s top young innovators by a panel of expert judges and the editorial staff of Technology Review.