The University of Manchester and The National Physical Laboratory have signed a memorandum of understanding to help move the potential benefits of graphene closer to practical use, by accelerating the commercialization of the remarkable 2D material.
This landmark agreement will see the two world-leading organizations work together on the development of graphene metrology, characterization, and standards vital to industry uptake, with a view to establishing a Joint Centre of Excellence. This will see the UK become a leading authority on graphene standards.
The agreement was signed at NPL’s “Graphene & 2-D Materials Conference,” a two day event on the 12th and 13th of November looking at how to take the material from research to real world applications, and including presentations from IBM, Nokia, and the US Naval Research Laboratory.
Graphene, the world’s first 2D material, has many extraordinary properties and characteristics which are either unique or surpass those of other materials. It possesses superior mechanical stiffness, strength and elasticity, electrical and thermal conductivity. It is optically active, chemically inert and impermeable to gases.
The possession of all of these properties in a single material makes graphene a potentially disruptive technology in sectors like optoelectronics, flexible electronics, bioelectric devices, energy storage and ultrafiltration.
There are many early adopters of graphene, but without standardization it is difficult for industry to be assured of the quality and properties of the material, and for graphene to be used to its full potential. Although achieving international standardization is a key enabler for industry in any area, the process can take many years.
The University of Manchester and NPL are seeking to address this gap in standardization in the meantime and accelerate the development of graphene-enabled technology through the accurate metrology and characterization of the material to improve the understanding of the properties of graphene and the ability to produce it in a reliable and repeatable way.
Robin Hart, Director of Programmes at NPL, says, “With its many amazing properties, graphene has the ability to totally transform entire industries. Consumers and manufacturers at different stages of the supply chain must be confident that they get what is written on the tin. Introduction of metrology steps in the development and production chains will dramatically improve their efficiency and ensure that the government and business investment in graphene technology is used in the most effective way.
“Manchester is widely regarded as the home of graphene R&D and by working with them in efforts to speed up the commercialization of research, we can start to reap the benefits to industry and society that graphene can offer much sooner.”
James Baker, Business Director at the National Graphene Institute at The University of Manchester said: “With this new partnership The University of Manchester and NPL are showing joint determination to lead the way in graphene applications. Industry leaders need to be confident in the material they are dealing with. By working with academics at The University of Manchester and at the National Graphene Institute, companies can be confident in approaching graphene applications with the best possible understanding through comprehensive standards, characterization, and testing.
“The metrology expertise based at NPL, paired with the world class academics, state of the art equipment and facilities at the UoM and NGI allows for viable graphene-based products to come the marketplace sooner.”
Release Date: November 13, 2014
Source: The University of Manchester http://www.manchester.ac.uk/discover/news/article/?id=13277