Geim’s achievements include the discovery of a simple method for isolating single atomic layers of graphite, known as graphene, in collaboration with researchers at the University of Manchester And IMT. The team published their findings in October 2004 in Science.
Graphene consists of one-atom-thick layers of carbon atoms arranged in two-dimensional hexagons, and is the thinnest material in the world, as well as one of the strongest and hardest. The material has many potential applications.
Geim said one of the first applications of graphene could be in the development of flexible touchscreens, and that he has not patented the material because he would need a specific application and an industrial partner.
Geim also developed a biomimetic adhesive which became known as gecko tape—so called because it works on the same principle as adhesion of gecko feet—research of which is still in the early stages. It is hoped that the development will eventually allow humans to scale ceilings, like Spider-Man.
Geim’s research in 1997 into the possible effects of magnetism on water scaling led to the famous discovery of direct diamagnetic levitation of water, and led to a frog being levitated. For this experiment, he and Michael Berry received the 2000 Ig Nobel Prize.
Geim has also carried out research on mesoscopic physics and superconductivity.
Expanding the scope of his research adventures, Geim started studying low-dimensional water in 2012, after his Nobel-prize achievements. A part of this work was acknowledged by the 2018 International Creativity Prize for Water.