Standardisation is extremely important for the commercialisation of any emerging technology
Standardisation provides a guide for organisations to ensure the quality and safety of materials, components and products for both the supply chain manufacturers and the end consumer.
Standards enable international trade and industry regulations are typically based on standards, which have already been developed through consensus of experts 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. We have 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 was published in 2017. This allows the graphene community to communicate defined terms and definitions with confidence.
We are also leading the standardisation of the structural properties of graphene within ISO/TC 229, developing fit-for-purpose measurement standards.These will instil trust in the 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, we 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 provides industry with an interim source of measurement protocols, in the absence of published international measurement standards in this area.