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“Graphene is the thinnest material in the world, it’s one of the strongest, maybe the strongest material in the world. It’s an excellent conductor. Electrons move through it very quickly, which is something you want to make circuits out of,” Mr. Schewe said.

He said graphene may be a good material for making integrated circuits, small chips with millions of transistors that are the backbone of all modern telecommunications. Its properties could also lead to potential uses in construction material, Mr. Schewe said, but added it would take a while “before this sort of technology moves into mainstream application.”

Lars Samuelson, a physics professor at the University of Lund, Sweden, said graphene developments are under way in several areas, especially for making TV screens.

“It is incredibly transparent, it lets through 98 percent of light, so it would be ideal to have on large TV screens,” he said.

The 2010 Nobel Prize announcements started Monday with the medicine award going to British researcher Robert Edwards, 85, for work that led to the first test tube baby. That achievement helped bring 4 million infants into the world so far and raised challenging new questions about human reproduction.

The chemistry prize will be announced Wednesday, followed by literature on Thursday, the peace prize on Friday and economics on Monday Oct. 11.

The prestigious awards were created by Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel and first given out in 1901. The prizes are always handed out on Dec. 10, the anniversary of Nobel’s death in 1896.

Associated Press Writers Malin Rising in Stockholm, Danica Kirka in London and AP Science Writer Malcolm Ritter in New York contributed to this report.