The World of Graphene
Since graphene was isolated for the first time in 2004, more than 200 000 scholarly articles have been published and over 30 000 patents have been filed with regard to this material, a testament to the enormous interest from both scientific and commercial communities. Graphene research has evolved into a vast field, with huge scientific and financial efforts going into the study of its synthesis and fundamental properties as well as the development of commercial applications. In the past few years, it has become clear that graphene is not at all the only two-dimensional (2D) supermaterial. More than 2500 other layered, atomically thin, materials have already been identified, ready to be studied and exploited. While these materials cover an amazing range of electrical, chemical, optical, and mechanical properties, perhaps the most astounding discovery is that they can be combined freely to create altogether new materials, so-called van der Waals heterostructures. By stacking together any number of atomically thin layers, it becomes possible to create novel metamaterials and devices otherwise not achievable by traditional three-dimensional bulk materials.