2015 Heilborn Lectures


Prof. Kostya Novoselov


Recipient of the 2010 Nobel Prize

Professor, University of Manchester


May 13 & 15


Kostya Novoselov received the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics along with  Andre Geim “for  groundbreaking experiments regarding the two-dimensional material graphene.”  A condensed matter physicist, Professor Novoselov is a Royal Society Research Fellow and Langworthy Professor at the University of Manchester, UK.  His two papers in Science (2004) and Nature (2005) are the most cited papers on graphene, the former being one of the most cited recent papers in physics.  Prof. Novoselov was born in Nizhny Tagil, Russia and educated at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology and the Radboud University of Nijmegen, Netherlands, where he completed his PhD work under the direction of Andre Geim.  His work has continued to garner recognition following the Nobel, including the Leverhulme Medal from the Royal Society and the Onsager Medal from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.













May 13

Twist-controlled electronic properties of van der Waals Heterostructures.


Recent developments in the technology of van der Waals heterostructures made from two-dimensional atomic crystals have already led to the observation of new physical phenomena, such as the metal-insulator transition and Coulomb drag, and to the realisation of functional devices, such as tunnel diodes, tunnel transistors and photovoltaic sensors. An unprecedented degree of control of the electronic properties is available not only by means of the selection of materials in the stack but also through the additional fine-tuning achievable by adjusting the built-in strain and relative orientation of the component layers. I will discuss several physical phenomena which are a direct result of the crystallographic alignment of the 2D crystals in such stacks.




May 15

Materials in the Flatland


When one writes by a pencil, thin flakes of graphite are left on a surface. Some of them are only one atom thick and can be viewed as individual atomic planes cleaved away from the bulk. Such one atom thick crystals of graphite (dubbed graphene) turned out to be the strongest crystals available to us, the most conductive, most thermally conductive, most elastic, flexible, transparent material, etc, etc, etc. Its electronic properties are particularly exciting: its quasiparticles are governed by the Dirac equation so that charge carriers in graphene mimic relativistic particles with zero rest mass.


Still, probably the most important “property” of graphene is that it has opened a floodgate of experiments on many other 2D atomic crystals: BN, NbSe2, TaS2, MoS2, etc. The resulting pool of 2D crystals is huge, and they cover a massive range of properties: from the most insulating to the most conductive, from the strongest to the softest.

If 2D materials provide a large range of different properties, sandwich structures made up of 2, 3, 4 … different layers of such materials can offer even greater scope. Since these 2D-based heterostructures can be tailored with atomic precision and individual layers of very different character can be combined together, - the properties of these structures can be tuned to study novel physical phenomena or to fit an enormous range of possible applications, with the functionality of heterostructure stacks is “embedded” in their design.