The diversity of qualities and therefore performance levels of graphene on the market today is a barrier to the full acceptance of this 2D material and therefore to the development of innovations in many sectors (health, sensors, composites, battery, semiconductor...). It is thus essential to develop reliable and harmonized measurement methods, able to determine its structural and chemical properties.
The European ISO-G-Scope project, funded as part of the Pre-normative calls for proposals of the European metrology research programme EMPIR, should make it possible to respond to this issue. The LNE-Nanotech Institute will be one of the 10 partners in this project, which starts in September 2020 for 3 years and which will aim to develop the procedures needed to reliably characterize the structural properties (thickness and lateral dimensions of flakes) and chemical properties of graphene, graphene oxide and functionalized graphene (N-, O- and F-).
The chemical characterization will be performed by X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) while Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) approaches will provide access to the structural properties. Inter-laboratory comparisons will be organized at the international level within the VAMAS pre-standardization program on advanced materials, of which LNE is the French representative, in order to validate the proposed protocols. This work will provide input for several documents currently being developed within international standardization:
- ISO TS 21356-1 'Nanotechnologies - Structural characterisation of graphene: Part 1: Graphene from powders and liquid dispersions'.
- ISO/PWI 23359 'Nanotechnologies - Chemical characterisation for graphene in powders and suspensions'.
- ISO/PWI 23879 'Nanotechnologies - Structural characterisation of graphene oxide flakes: thickness and lateral size measurement using SEM and AFM'.
Finally, a feasibility study to produce a certified reference material will also be conducted.
Through its major role in this European project and its involvement in international standardization processes, the LNE-Nanotech Institute is continuing its action to promote graphene-based innovation by setting up appropriate reference frameworks.
Consult our file : "Graphene: measuring for better control"