What are the challenges in nanometrology to be met?

Nanotechnology presents a unique opportunity for proactive development of metrology and standards since the technology is still in its infancy.

New standards and measurement techniques in nanotechnology

The expected considerable growth in nanotechnology will require major infrastructural investment, especially the development and introduction of new standards and measurement techniques in nanotechnology. Few such standards exist today, existing measurement techniques and instrumentation will have to be developed further and whole new ranges of nanotechnological products will appear. Infrastructure ensures that newly developed products will satisfy the exacting requirements not only of scientific excellence but also of reliability and economy when practically implemented.

Consultation with key stakeholders

It is becoming urgent that the measurement and standards needs for Europe for nanotechnology are reviewed in consultation with key stakeholders so as to facilitate industrial take up and development by providing harmonised quality standards and measurement techniques. This will also contribute towards making nanotechnological products can be traded freely and are safe and thus to gain users’ and consumers’ confidence.

Pre-normative research & development

Above all, there is a commensurate need for research – both pre-normative and co-normative – in developing and introducing quality-assured metrology and standardisation in nanotechnology.

It is indeed well known that metrology and standardisation activities benefit from, and in some cases absolutely need, specific research, such as in determining the reliability of envisaged testing methods.

Despite an obvious need, there are however few universities or industries today engaged in this infrastructural area. The unique opportunity for proactive standardisation development and for developing and introducing standardised characterisation methods in nanotechnology needs to be seized as a matter of urgency – before national and regional positions become fixed.




“Introductory Guide to Nanometrology”, P-E Hansen, G Roebben, L R Pendrill et al. 2011, CO-NANOMET report, ISBN: 978‐0‐9566809‐1‐4, http://www.euspen.eu/content/swf/euspen4/


Sustainable innovation with nanotechnology. Need of standards & metrology

Nanotechnology in its myriad of applications will need standardisation regarding:

  1. Terminology & nomenclature
  2. Measurement & characterisation of nanosystems
  3. Health, safety and environmental impact
  4. Product and process standards



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