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Graphene and 2D materials

Chemical characterisation

Increasing understanding of 2D materials

To progress graphene and other advanced 2D materials from exciting research to industrial commercialisation, these atomically thick materials require metrology to support device enhancement and mass production.

Owing to their special planar nature, the surface of the materials and their interface with a device substrate or packaging are of critical importance. Measurement tools are required to determine the chemistry at these interfaces with extreme surface sensitivity and high spatial resolution so that the fundamental understanding of graphene devices and device performance can be understood and improved.

NPL has world-leading experience in the chemical characterisation of surfaces and sub-surfaces on the nano- and microscale using a multi-technique approach to provide a more complete understanding. Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS) can provide detailed chemical information for the surface and sub-surface of both inorganic and organic samples, and can also be partnered with high-accuracy depth profiling. With SIMS, both the graphene sheet itself and other parts of any graphene device can be investigated to provide a 2D or 3D map of impurities, contaminant, dopants or surface functionalisations. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy is a complementary technique that is well-established for quantitative surface chemical analysis, for example determining the thickness of organic contaminants, or quantitative measurements of surface dopants. These characterisation techniques provide essential insight into device performance and optimisation.

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