The Economist offers some thoughts on the wonder material. It starts off this way
BY WEIGHT, it is 100 times stronger than steel, yet it can stretch by as much as a quarter of its length. Graphene is the thinnest solid ever known, indeed the thinnest possible: it is a sheet of linked carbon atoms just one atom thick. It is a great conductor of electricity and nearly transparent to visible light, but is impermeable to gases and liquids. It has so many surprising properties that it has been dubbed a “wonder material” and has earned its discoverers a Nobel prize. Graphene-related patents have shot up from 3,018 in 2011 to 8,416 in 2014, the year the European Union launched a ten-year, billion-euro project to unravel the wonder material’s mysteries. Why does graphene stir such interest?