"Graphene is steadily making its way from research laboratories to real applications, but scientists - including Nobel Prize laureate Konstantin Novoselov, the wonder material’s co-discoverer - are already looking further ahead to a range of 2D substances that will allow tailoring materials to the exact requirements of various devices.
Imagine a material that has it all – photovoltaic properties, unbelievable strength, flexibility, conductive properties, as well as the capability to sense whatever one may imagine from humidity to pressure, temperature or light. During a keynote speech at this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Novoselov described how stacking two-dimensional materials layer by layer could achieve exactly that.
Although graphene is still the one in the spotlight, scientists already have entire libraries of 2D materials similar to graphene that can be used to virtually engineer materials atom by atom to have even more miraculous properties than the wonder material itself.
“There are few materials that determine our world today,” the 41-year old physicist said. “It’s silicon in electronics, aluminium and titanium in aerospace, steel in construction. But these materials limit what we can do. We are now developing what we call heterostructures that would allow us to first design a device and then, atom by atom, to engineer a material that would exactly fit our needs.”"