The "God-particle" has been getting all the attention lately, but nevermind that for a moment. We've got an up-and-coming God-material on our hands. Graphene -- already proven to have the strength steel in sheets as thin as paper, uses in super-powerful, flexible capacitors, applications in improving the efficiency of desalination by a factor of 100, and the ability to generate electricity when struck by light -- has just demonstrated a new miraculous quality: Sheets of graphene can patch their own holes. It seems that the question of "is there anything graphene can't do?" is becoming less and less rhetorical with each passing day.
Russian-born physicists Konstantin Novoselov and Andre Geim, both faculty members at the University of Manchester, have won the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics for their work with graphene, which is an arrangement of carbon consisting of a flat, atom-thick layer in a honeycomb-like lattice. In 2004, Novoselov and Geim discovered a low-tech but highly effective way to produce graphene flakes: With Scotch tape. By putting tape on a piece of graphite and repeatedly peeling away, you can create a layer of graphene. Now known as the so-called "Scotch tape technique," according to Dr. Geim, this discovery has had theoretical as well as practical implications: New Scientist reports that it wasn't previously known that such two-dimensional sheets would be stable.