There are not many scientists who could say that their work has opened up an entire new field of research, but this is a feat to which Sir Kostya Novoselov FRS at the University of Manchester can lay claim. Not only that, in 2010, while still a URF, he shared the Nobel Prize in Physics with colleague Sir Andre Geim FRS, also at Manchester, ‘for groundbreaking experiments regarding the two-dimensional material graphene’.
The pair isolated a one-atom thick layer of ordinary carbon (such as that found in the graphite of pencil leads), and showed that it had extraordinary properties thanks to quantum effects. Called ‘graphene’, this new material is the thinnest, strongest conductor of heat known. Its properties have helped test the theoretical foundations of physics, and offers huge practical applications in electronics.
Sir Kostya Novoselov’s research on graphene has led him to be named as one of the ‘hottest researchers in the world’ in terms of scientific citations. His work has been cited over 120,000 times, and his seminal 2004 Science paper on graphene is named as one of the top 100 papers cited in science ever, in all fields.
He is currently at the University of Manchester where he is a Royal Society Research Professor and director of the National Graphene Institute. Among numerous awards and honours, Sir Kostya Novoselov is also a Fellow of the Royal Society.