Graphene is a material that has been known since the mid-1800s, but which could not be produced at all until the early 2000s. The two scientists Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2010 for groundbreaking experiments regarding graphene. The success began on a Friday night in Manchester, in 2004, when the researchers at a piece of tape managed to capture the first crystals of graphene from a piece of graphite.

Graphene is a new material, in the sense that it is only just over 10 years since it was first isolated. During these 10 years, a huge research effort has generated a lot of new knowledge in the field. It has been found that graphene has many unique properties. It is only one molecular layer thick and is therefore known as two dimensional, 2D. Today, Graphene is a focus area in many university and corporate laboratories around the world. Research is mainly focused on the development of different application areas where graphene is about to change the world.

Today there are very high expectations of 2D materials, especially graphene. An example of this is that EU is investing € 1 billion over 10 years on research in this area (the so-called "Graphene Flagship").