Since Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov first isolated graphene in the laboratory at the University of Manchester eleven years ago, the new miracle material and its outstanding properties have been the focus of intense research efforts.
The one atom-thick honeycomb layer of carbon atoms is more tear-resistant than steel and an extremely good conductor of heat and electricity, but is also extremely flexible and transparent. Applications that could benefit from the use of graphene range from flexible electrodes and displays through to sensitive sensors and higher performance electronic components and batteries.
Since 2014, one of the European Union flagship projects has been dedicated to the two-dimensional material: the "Graphene Flagship" is receiving 1 billion euros of funding over a period of 10 years, aimed at taking graphene out of the research lab and putting it into commercial applications. Standardization can and should support this process by defining measurement methods for the major properties of graphene and is therefore also part of the work programme of the research project.
The DKE initiated the CENELEC "Specifications for graphene-related materials" workshop, which was officially launched in March 2015, to accompany these activities and to build a bridge from research to standardization.
The workshop links up the standardization activities of the Graphene Flagship with other EU-funded graphene research projects and the technical committees of international standardization organizations.
At present, the standardization efforts are primarily concerned with the consistent characterization of graphene. This is the basis for ensuring the comparability of materials supplied by different manufacturers and of industrial production, paving the way for the use of graphene in commercial products. Ongoing projects include those aimed at determining the number of graphene layers, measuring conductivity and evaluating structural quality.