An international team of researchers from Surrey’s Advanced Technology Institute (ATI), National Physical Laboratory (NPL) and the Institute of Electronic Materials Technology in Poland designed an innovative method for separating a layer (or "carpet", as they put it) of graphene from its supporting substance.

While traditional methods require separating graphene from a substrate (which leads to degradation of the mobility of the electrons), this research presents an breakthrough in that it enables the graphene layer to be ‘lifted’ from the substrate by forcing hydrogen molecules between the two layers. The researchers showed that the insertion of hydrogen molecules between epitaxial graphene and SiC promotes a dramatic change in the electronic properties of the material, leading to the change of the carrier type and significant increase in carrier mobility.