As part of the European Graphene Flagship, the Laboratoire National de Métrologie et d'Essais - LNE, the National Physical Laboratory - NPL (UK) and the Instituto de Nanociencia de Aragón - Universidad de Zaragoza (Spain) have launched the Validation Service, a new quality assurance programme to facilitate the industrialization and commercialization of graphene-based materials and products.
Graphene, a wonder nanomaterial, is a monolayer of carbon atoms which, due to its exceptional physico-chemical properties (flexibility, mechanical strength, thinness, transparency, high electrical and thermal conductivity…) – 2010 Physics Nobel Prize, promises decisive advantages for many applications (electronics & telecom, energy storage, biomedicine, composite materials…).
The ability to measure and control certain key parameters of this nanomaterial (number of atomic layers, defects, impurities…) and then to master its integration into more complex materials, components or devices are nevertheless prerequisites for the development of these applications. However, today, the quality of graphene-based materials produced at industrial scale and available on the market is rather poor not satisfactory, which points to the need for better control.
Based on that, the Validation Service was launched as part of the Graphene Flagship. The service gathers LNE, NPL and Instituto de Nanociencia de Aragón - Universidad de Zaragoza, authorized national metrology institutes and infrastructures reknowned for their excellence, independence, integrity, and impartiality. They make their measurement expertise available to the academic and industrial actors in the field, with the aim to increase quality and confidence in graphene and related materials (performance and risk assessment, alongthe whole value chains).
The objective is to facilitate their industrialization and commercialization, as well as those of the many innovative applications they promise, by providing reliable and comparable characterization data.
The service already offers the evaluation of structural, mechanical, thermal, electrical, optical and chemical properties on the basis of harmonized methodologies (standards existing or under development). The LNE-Nanotech Institute, inaugurated in March 2018, also provides measurement of the impact of ageing on these properties and the emission of particles at various key stages in the product life. All these characterizations are proposed for graphene-based materials in all their variety as well as related two-dimensional materials. The offer will evolve towards the evaluation of more complex components and systems, beyond nanomaterials alone, to support progress towards higher technological readiness levels.
The provision of this service is an essential step in Graphene Flagship's ambition to turn graphene science and technology into industrial success.
Large scale coordinated research programme funded by the European Commission, it involves 150 industrial and academic partners over 10 years (2013-2023) and aims at exploiting the exceptional properties of graphene up to industrial success and economic growth..
The LNE-Nanotech Institute, dedicated to the challenges of metrology at the nanometer scale, aims at advancing the knowledge and know-how of nanomaterials and nanodevices.