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of graphene, it’s a very fragmented world,” said

Barkan. He added that a “high percentage” of

members are in the research sector, whilst an

“increasing number of people are involved

in development”.

The executive director then moved to discuss

the graphene market, emphasising a move

towards commercialisation. Barkan commented

that forecasts for the size of the market “are

actually fairly conservative” and would “reach

about 150 million US dollars (~€134m) by

2020”. He added that the potential of the total

graphene and graphene-related materials

market is “enormous”, particularly considering

the broad range of their potential commercial

and industrial applications, but cautioned that,

despite these possibilities, there are no

universally agreed standards for this material.

Consistently confused

Barkan then proceeded to define some of the

challenges that are facing graphene in terms

of definition and consistency in production:

“When you look at the producers of this

material, people are calling single-wall

nanotubes ‘rolled up graphene’; where you

have a material that is single and multilayer, it’s

all being referred to as graphene. The question

is: when does it change from being graphene

to actually turning back into graphite?

“There is also quite a bit of inconsistency,

though this is getting better. But there has even

been inconsistency from the same supplier over

batches of material that don’t have the same

characteristics or the exact same quality of

manufacture. So what does that mean for a

buyer if you are in this environment? It means

a lot of confusion.”

Barkan discussed this problem further in

relation to the manufacture of graphene. He

said there has been “quite a significant

increase” in the number of graphene

I S S U E S E V E N

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40

S P E C I A L F E AT U R E : M AT E R I A L S

Graphene standards

Portal

carries the thoughts of the Graphene Council’s executive director,

Terrance Barkan,

as he addressed delegates at ‘The Commercial Graphene

Show’ about industry’s essential role in helping to set standards

Terrance Barkan

T

he Graphene Council is a platform representing over 4,600

researchers, academics, government representatives and

investors working in the environment that is graphene. Founded

by Terrance Barkan in 2013, the body provides an avenue to share

information and discuss the major advances that are taking place in this

nanomaterial. The organisation has a particular focus on the development

of standards for graphene and is consequently a member of committees

focusing on such causes.

In April, Portal travelled to Manchester, UK, to attend ‘The Commercial

Graphene Show – Europe 2015’, a major two-day conference exploring

the commercialisation of the nanomaterial. Attracting key players working

throughout the entire graphene value chain, the conference is one of

Europe’s largest events and nurtures discussions on graphene research,

production and application development, as well as the role of the EU.

Communication

In his address to delegates at the conference, Barkan, now executive

director of the Graphene Council, began by outlining the need for greater

communication amongst graphene players, in particular between

researchers and those involved in the commercialisation of

the nanomaterial.

“We formed this platform to enable all these different parties to come

together, and when you consider all the different potential applications

Barkan told delegates

that estimates show

that the market for

graphene could reach

approximately $150m

by 2020