National Physical Laboratory

NGMC logo Graphene standards

International standards will enable the commercialisation of graphene and related 2D materials through consistent terminology and reliable, reproducible and comparable material characterisation worldwide.

Standardisation is extremely important for the commercialisation of any emerging technology, providing a guide for organisations that ensure the quality and safety of materials, components and products for both the supply chain manufacturers and the end consumer.

Standards enable trade across the globe and industry regulations are typically based on standards as they have already been developed through consensus of experts in that field worldwide.

Scientific research in both academia and industry has shown that graphene and related 2D materials could potentially impact a large number of application areas. The development of international standards for graphene will support its long term future exploitation in areas ranging from flexible electronics to nanocomposites for aerospace.

NPL is heavily involved with both the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), through the Nanotechnologies Technical Committee (TC 229), and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) TC 113 in developing the standards required to enable a global graphene industry. NPL has the nominated UK experts for the international graphene standards currently being developed in ISO and IEC, through the Nanotechnologies Group (NTI/1) of the British Standards Institute (BSI). 

Importantly, NPL has led the first graphene ISO standard defining the terminology of graphene and related 2D materials, which has been published in 2017. This will allow the graphene community to communicate defined terms and definitions with confidence.

NPL is also leading the standardisation of the structural properties of graphene within ISO/TC 229, developing fit-for-purpose measurement standards that will instil trust in this growing graphene industry through reliable comparison of the properties of the many different commercially-supplied graphene sources worldwide. However, as the development of international standards is rigorous and can take several years, NPL have published an NPL Good Practice Guide entitled 'Characterisation of the Structure of Graphene' that will be the basis of the future ISO standards in this area. This will therefore provide industry with an interim source of measurement protocols, in the initial absence of published international measurement standards in this area.

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