By Josh Perry, Editor
The National Physical Laboratory and the National Graphene Institute (NGI) at the University of Manchester (U.K.) are creating a new service that will assist in the industrialization of graphene by characterizing the material to give companies confidence in the material’s properties.
A new service will characterize graphene, standardizing its production and properties for industrialization. (Wikimedia Commons)
According to a report from the university, “Material standardisation is crucial to industry uptake but, as with all new technologies, international standards for graphene are in their infancy. As such, manufacturers are unable to verify that the graphene that they are working with has the desired properties.”
The NPL and NGI hope that this will provide the “missing link” to boost industrialization and keep U.K. companies on the forefront of this material’s potential commercial applications.
“Early adopters of graphene technology are already seeing benefits, but in order to fulfil its massive potential, it needs to be industrialised – which will see the quality and reproducibility of the material on offer increase, due to standardisation, and the price of graphene drop, due to economies of scale,” the article continued.
NPL has led the development of graphene ISO standards, related to terminology, and has worked with the NGI on an NPL Good Practice Guide, which gives measurements for the properties of commercially-available graphene. The NGI offers expertise on graphene’s potential applications.
Andrew Pollard, NPL Science Area Leader of the Surface Technology Group, said, “Introducing this unique service, alongside the development of international standards, to the UK’s emerging graphene economy will accelerate the commercialisation of next generation technologies here in the same country the material was first isolated, enabling graphene to go from the lab to the market.”
A Physics World article about the new service added, “Graphene has been used in commercial items before now but for a long time its inclusion has been more of a marketing exercise to attract attention rather than making use of its manifold fascinating properties. This is now starting to change making the service launch particularly timely.”
The NPL Good Practice Guide can be found at http://npl.co.uk/publications/guides/characterisation-of-the-structure-of-graphene.