1) What is the validation service and why do we need it?
As time progresses, the Graphene Flagship's centre of gravity is moving towards applications, which is reflected in the increasing importance of R&D at higher TRL levels.
The success of knowledge translation from the laboratory, the research journal and the academic conference into the hands of people and organizations who can put it to practical use, rests to a great extent on our ability to persuade the end-users of the validity and stability of research outcomes and the advantages of the application of novel materials and technologies with respect to the incumbents.
The absence of accurate measurement protocols and instrumentation for the quality control of the produced material coupled with the lack of norms, agreed benchmarks and standards readily available for the validation process have become a serious obstacle en route to the commercialisation of graphene and related 2D materials. Material and technology validation is costly and complicated, especially in the context of the revolutionising undertaking on the scale of the Graphene Flagship. It requires a professional solution that would enable and accelerate the technology development and transfer.
The Graphene Flagship validation is a service provided by authorised national measurement institutes and facilities renowned for their excellence, independence, integrity and impartiality.
2) What is the advantage of using the validation service?
The winners in the successful exploitation of graphene and other 2D materials will be those who can rapidly understand how to engineer and guarantee the useful performance of graphene-based devices in real world scenarios and accelerate development through the technology readiness levels. The companies producing graphene and using it as the end product in such applications as electronics, optoelectronics, energy products, functional composites, etc. require measurement capability to support three aims:
• To enable the direct comparison between graphene-based materials and devices produced by the different companies and by different techniques, leading to the availability of graphene that is consistent from batch to batch.
• Optimisation of the performance and the manufacturing processes for commercial scale production.
• The provision of widely agreed benchmarked properties of industrially useful graphene materials for different applications for design and innovation.
3) What is included and when will the service become available?
Phase 1: Structural, mechanical, optical, thermal, electrical, magnetic, chemical, lifecycle measurements of bulk composites will be offered from September 2018 in Core 2.
Phase 2: Validation of suspensions, inks, paints, powders, films, etc. will be developed in Core 2 and rolled out in Core 3.