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More than 600 physicists have descended on Manchester, UK in the past few days for Graphene Week 2015. The city is billed as the home of graphene: it was here, in 2004, that University of Manchester physicist Andre Geim, with his colleague Konstantin Novoselov, first isolated and explored the properties of a single layer of carbon — work that won them the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics. At the conference, Geim spoke to Elizabeth Gibney about why the research gold mine of graphene has been exhausted — and how he is working with graphene companies even though he thinks that the mission of a university should not be to push the commercialization of research. The interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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