Nature Nanotechnology has recently turned 10. To celebrate this milestone, a number of experts from different areas of nanotechnology have been invited to describe how the field has evolved in the last ten years. The ever growing demand for improved functionalities and nanoscale miniaturisation of electronic devices, in addition to the approaching limits of current silicon-based technology, has driven the quest for materials enabling alternative technological solutions. In this context, two-dimensional materials have significantly shaped the nanotechnology landscape over this decade. In the feature entitled “Nano on reflection”, Dr Silvia Milana, Associate editor at Nature Communications, outlines the development of two-dimensional materials, highlighting both promising achievements and associated challenges.