International Survey on Standards for Nano-electrotechnologies

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International Survey on Standards for Nano-electrotechnologies

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Nano-electrotechnologies are expected to be one of the key technologies of the 21st century. They have enormous potential for the development of new products with exceptional performance. Recent reports indicate that the materials and equipment market for nanoelectronics was $1.8 billion in 2005 and is expected to grow to over $4 billion in 2010. The continued rapid growth of nano-electrotechnologies-based industries has required increased international standardization activities to support equitable and efficient business models. Effective international standards will permit the use of nano-enabled products in any nation.

Background on the Survey

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Energetics Incorporated collaborated with the International Electrotechnical Commission Technical Committee 113 (IEC TC 113) on Nano-electrotechnologies to survey members of the international community about priorities for standards and measurements in this field. The survey ran for approximately 6 months during 2008. It elicited more than 450 completed survey responses from 45 countries. Energetics and NIST conducted a joint statistical analysis of the survey results and recently wrote a paper that contains details of the analysis. The paper, Priorities for Standards and Measurements to Accelerate Innovations in Nano-electrotechnologies: Analysis of the NIST-Energetics-IEC TC 113 Survey, will be published in the NIST Journal of Research, Volume 114,  Issue 2, March-April 2009. It is now available for download at .

Analyzing the Results

Analyzing the survey results by two different statistical methods gave consistent priorities for items ranked in each of five nano-electrotechnology categories: 1) Properties, 2) Products, 3) Cross-cutting Technologies, 4) General Discipline Areas, and 5) Stages of the Linear Economic Model. The global consensus prioritizations suggest that the IEC TC 113 should focus initially on standards and measurements for electronic and electrical properties of sensors and fabrication tools that support performance assessments of nanotechnology enabled sub-assemblies used in energy, medical, and computer products.

Figure 1

Schematic of the correlation of the highest priority Cross-Cutting Technology item Sensors with the ranked items in the Products Category.