Born: 21 October 1958, Sochi, Russia
Affiliation at the time of the award: University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom
Prize motivation: "for groundbreaking experiments regarding the two-dimensional material graphene"
Field: condensed matter physics, material physics
Prize share: 1/2
Andre Geim was born in Sochi, Russia, to a family with German heritage. He spent the first seven years of his life living with his maternal grandparents. It was not until later that he discovered that both his paternal grandfather and his father, who were physicists, had spent several years imprisoned in labor camps. Since receiving his PhD in physics from the Russian Academy of Sciences in Chernogolovka, Andre Geim has worked at several European universities, including in Nijmegen, Netherlands. Geim has held a position at the University of Manchester in the UK since 2001. He is married with children.
Carbon exists in several different natural forms. A material consisting of carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal lattice and only one atom thick was long considered a purely theoretical construction. In 2004 Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov successfully produced this material, graphene, and mapped its properties: incredibly thin but still incredibly strong, good heat and electrical conductivity, almost entirely transparent yet very dense. Graphene creates new possibilities within materials technology and electronics.