In its quest to standardise commercial graphene, the Graphene Flagship Standardisation Committee (GFSC) is now launching its new Standardisation Certificate, the first of its kind. This award is a tribute to the efforts and expertise of those who have contributed to the development of an international standard or technical specification in the field of graphene and related materials.
Nowadays, most of the commercial graphene is rarely a single layer of carbon atoms. Although not meeting the strict scientific definition may seem like a technicality, this hinders the development of industrial applications and diminishes the global trust in the graphene community. Besides, this lack of regulations and standards motivates certain suppliers to sell graphene 'fakes', which never meet the unique properties of the Nobel-winning, two-dimensional material. Hence, there is a clear need for graphene standards.
Beyond single layer graphene, the industry sometimes needs other specifications, even different types of layered materials. Some products, such as photonic and electronic devices, need pure, mono-layer graphene whereas others, such as composites and functional materials, may also benefit from using cheaper alternatives. Either way, standardisation is crucial. Graphene producers need to be transparent about what they sell, and users ought to know exactly what they are buying. Thus, the Graphene Flagship Standardisation Committee works tirelessly to define a set of consistent and reliable standards for graphene and other layered materials – be it the terminology, or the definition of key control characteristics and their measurement methods, both fundamental for industry uptake of graphene.
Among these comprehensive efforts across disciplines to standardise the manufacture, characterisation and commercialisation of graphene, the GFSC is now announcing its first Standardisation Certificate – a quality seal for scientists and institutions that have contributed to pioneering standardisation projects. The GFSC Standardisation Certificate is the first of its kind, and it will surely encourage other national and international projects to follow our lead, showing their appreciation for the work in standardisation and regulation.
Together with the creation of the certificates, the GFSC is also announcing the first ever recipients of this recognition: Peter Uhd Jepsen, from Graphene Flagship partner DTU, Denmark, and Elena Taboada, from das-nano, Spain, for successfully leading a standardisation project to measure graphene film sheet resistance by Tera-Hertz time domain spectroscopy; and Marcus Klein from Sugarus, Germany, for spearheading the standardisation of the Eddy current method, also to measure graphene film sheet resistance .
"The launch of the GFSC Standardisation Certificate will set a milestone for the appreciation of standardisation work. So far, the scientific community's interest in contributing to standardisation is limited, as international standardisation committees cannot highlight individuals for the authorship of standards. The Graphene Flagship now can, and I am sure we will soon see other projects continue on our path," says Thurid Gspann, from Graphene Flagship partner Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany, who chairs the GFSC and coordinates the Standardisation team within Work Package 19 – Industrialisation.
Moreover, the Graphene Flagship Standardisation Committee recently met, on the occasion of the Graphene Flagship's digital event – Graphene for Research, Innovation, Collaboration. "The outcomes of this meeting have been very promising," adds Christian Punckt, from Graphene Flagship partner Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany. "We are positive that the Graphene Flagship will pave the way towards standardisation, ensuring the commercial adoption of graphene and layered materials and, eventually, the realisation of the project's ultimate goal – bringing the wonders of graphene into society."
Jari Kinaret, Director of the Graphene Flagship, says: "The absence of standards has been a major obstacle to the commercialisation of graphene and layered materials. The work of the Graphene Flagship Standardisation Committee lays the groundwork for overcoming this challenge."