TECH

Word's Thinnest Glass Made By Accident, Is Two Atoms Thick

12/09/2013 09:11 BST

A material initially thought to just be "muck" is in fact the the world's thinnest sheet of glass.

Scientists at Cornell University and Germany’s University of Ulm had been trying to make graphene when they stumbled across their record breaking discovery.

At only two atoms thick it is undoubtedly too thin to keep out a winter's chill not to mention the neighbour's kid's football.

glass

The right of the image shows that actual atoms, merging with an artist's impression on the left

It has however, allowed for the exact mapping of the atom arrangement in glass, something that has not been achieved before.

Using electron microscopy, the researchers found the arrangement "strikingly resembled" that predicted by William Houlder Zachariasen, a Norwegian-American physicist way back in 1932.

David A. Muller, who led the research, believes the material formed by accident due to a reaction between the copper foil on which the graphene was being grown and the quartz furnace where the procedure was taking place.

The record has been recognised by the Guinness Book of Records and will recorded in the 2014 edition.