News: News, Research, SA

Creating a global standard for powdered graphene

Prof. Dusan Losic’s research team, the ARC Research Hub for Graphene Enabled Industry Transformation (GEIT) at the University of Adelaide, is using our facilities to create a world standard for graphene.

This research will be used as the basis to develop the new international standard for powdered graphene – ISO/PWI 23359 ‘Chemical Characterisation for Graphene Flakes’. Prof. Losic is leading this project within VAMAS – Versailles Project on Advanced Materials and Standards – who coordinate the creation of international standards for advanced materials.

They have been using our facilities at the University of Adelaide and Flinders University to determine the chemical properties of graphene, graphene oxide and reduced graphene oxide flakes in bulk form (i.e. powders). Dr Ramesh Karunagaran is using a combination of transmission and scanning electron microscopy in our facilities at the University of Adelaide to characterise the samples. Atomic force microscopy is also being undertaken by Dr Chris Gibson at Flinders University.

TEM (left) and SEM (right) micrographs of graphene taken by Dr Karunagaran

Graphene – dubbed a ‘supermaterial’ – has a long list of incredible properties. It’s flexible, transparent, highly conductive, and impermeable to most gases and liquids. It is the first truly two-dimensional material, at only 1 atom thick. Despite this, it is 100 times stronger than steel. It has an even longer list of potential industrial, manufacturing and research applications including solar cells, fuel cells, supercapacitors, batteries, tissue engineering, medical devices, targeted drug delivery, nanotechnology, sensors, water filtration, contamination removal, waterproofing, lubricants and more.

As the inevitable uptake of graphene by industry increases, international standardisation is becoming more critical to enabling commercialisation. Graphene needs to be reliably, accurately and reproducibly measured so that manufacturing quality can be ensured globally.

As a member of the Australian Graphene Industry Association Microscopy Australia is proud to be able to support this work.

Along with developing graphene quality standards and characterisation methods for bulk graphene the ARC GEIT Hub has three further research focuses:

  • developing methods for scalable graphene production, graphene functionalisation, understanding properties and designing new composites and 2d heterostructures
  • understanding the potential environmental, health and safety impacts of graphene
  • developing graphene-enhanced devices and technologies in collaboration with industry partners


Dr Ramesh Karunagaran of the ARC Research Hub for Graphene Enabled Industry Transformation