Graphene Characterisation at CPI

As part of the Graphene Applications Innovation Centre, CPI is bringing together specialist dispersion characterisation, and applications testing capability alongside a team of leading scientists with a vast array of experience in industry, research and development and technology innovation.

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The new laboratory will focus on the functionalisation and characterisation of exfoliated and CVD Graphene at proof of concept scale and will provide the process scale-up data to determine whether novel concepts are feasible before moving towards larger scale product development. The installation will allow clients to extensively study Graphene and how it interacts with matrices that it is dispersed in, assessing a number of properties such as electrical, mechanical, thermal and morphological to name but a few.

The capabilities of the new laboratory will augment the CPI’s expertise in the fields of dispersion, characterisation and applications testing, enabling the characterisation of unformulated graphene and incorporating it into host systems and then characterising the resulting composite. The dispersion capability includes the optimisation of formulations for the efficient incorporation of graphene. This can be matched to a range of dispersing techniques, including high shear dispersion, sonication and centrifugal mixing and milling methods including, bead milling and 3‑roll milling. Characterisation capability includes many of the standard methods for studying dispersions, including light scattering, zeta potential, rheological studies, optical and electron microscopy. This is further augmented with methods developed for the characterisation of graphene, including Raman spectroscopy. In addition, graphene composites can be processed using a range of methods before being characterised across a number of properties, including electrical, thermal, optical and topographical studies.

Clients will be able to partner with CPI on an open access basis either through commercial or grant funded work. The specialist laboratory is currently in the process of installation and will be fully commissioned by the end of December 2015. Strategic target market sectors are wide ranging for CPI, however initial focus is towards the development of inks, structural composites, ultra-barriers, printable electronics and other thin film based applications.