Graphene: Short route from discovery to maturity . The “wonder material” of the 21st century is graphene. It conducts electricity better than copper and is much stronger and much lighter than steel. Perhaps these traits explain why it has evolved so rapidly. Graphene was discovered in 2004 and first produced in relatively large-scale in 2006. The first-generation of commercial products was released in 2008 and finally won the Nobel Prize for its inventors in 2010.