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Science  03 Sep 2010:
Vol. 329, Issue 5996, pp. 1157-1158
DOI: 10.1126/science.1195392

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Summary

The discovery of graphene (13), a two-dimensional allotrope of carbon, has initiated huge activity in physics, chemistry, and materials science. The peculiar character of charge carriers in this material makes it a “CERN on the desk,” allowing some of the subtle effects of high-energy physics to be simulated in a microscopic, solid-state sample. Graphene is the simplest possible membrane, a sheet of carbon atoms just one atom thick—an ideal testbed for statistical physics in two dimensions. It also promises brilliant perspectives for the next generation of electronics researchers, who have mainly been limited to the surfaces of materials. However, graphene is not only interesting in itself. On page 1188 of this issue, Xu et al. (4) present a new use of graphene that may be a breakthrough in studies of the physics and chemistry of wetting.