Graphene has been known since the mid-1800s, but it could not be produced until the early 2000s. A Friday night in Manchester 2004, scientists Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov managed to capture the first crystals of graphene by using regular scotch tape and a piece of graphite. They were later awarded the Nobel prize in physics for their groundbreaking discovery.
Since the first successful attempt to isolate the material a huge research effort has generated a lot of new knowledge in the field. Graphene is a focus area at many university and corporate laboratories around the world, and the expectations on the material are high. For example, EU is investing € 1 billion over 10 years on research, a project called Graphene Flagship.