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PART II Summary Assessments of the Individual Laboratories Part I of this report presents the Board's synopsis of the 2003 assessment and its overall assessment of the NIST Measurement and Standards Laboratories. This part provides a laboratory-level assessment of each individual laboratory. Part III presents a technical review at the division level for each laboratory. Chapter 2 Electronics and Electrical Engineering Laboratory Chapter 3 Manufacturing Engineering Laboratory Chapter 4 Chemical Science and Technology Laboratory Chapter 5 Physics Laboratory Chapter 6 Materials Science and Engineering Laboratory Chapter 7 Building and Fire Research Laboratory Chapter 8 Information Technology Laboratory 13
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16 AN ASSESSMENT OF THE NIST MEASUREMENT AND STANDARDS LABORATORIES: FY 2003 PANEL MEMBERS Constance J. Chang-Hasnain, University of California, Berkeley, Chair Robert R. Doering, Texas Instruments, Vice Chair Thomas E. Anderson, II-IV Incorporated, Division of Litton Systems, Inc. James A. Bain, Carnegie Mellon University Peter J. Delfyett, University of Central Florida Michael Ettenberg, Suzmar LLC Thomas J. Granola, Ohio State University Katherine L. Hall, PhotonEx Corporation Paul S. Ho, University of Texas, Austin David C. Larbalestier, University of Wisconsin, Madison Tingye Li, AT&T Research (retired) Tso-Ping Ma, Yale University Robert C. McDonald, Intel Corporation (retired) Bruce Melson, GE Aircraft Engines Terry P. Orlando, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Ghery S. Pettit, Intel Corporation Robert Rottmayer, Seagate Research Douglas K. Rytting, Agilent Technologies, Inc. Dale J. Van Harlingen, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Ronald Waxman, University of Virginia (retired) H. Lee Willis, ABE, Inc. Barry M. Wood, National Research Council Canada Submitted for the panel by its Chair, Constance J. Chang-Hasnain, and its Vice Chair, Robert R. Doering, this assessment of the fiscal year 2003 activities of the Electronics and Electrical Engineering Laboratory is based on site visits by individual panel members, a formal meeting of the panel on February 20-21, 2003, in Gaithersburg, Maryland, and documents provided by the laboratory. 1National Institute of Standards and Technology, Electronics and Electrical Engineering Laboratory, Programs, Activities, and Accomplishments, NISTIR 6625, 6626, 6627, 6628, 6933, 6934, 6952, 6953, National Institute of Standards and Technol- ogy, Gaithersburg, Md., January 2003. These books for the KEEL divisions are available online at
ELECTRONICS AND ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING LABORATORY LABORATORY-LEVEL REVIEW 17 The mission of the NIST Electronics and Electrical Engineering Laboratory (KEEL) is to strengthen the U.S. economy and improve the quality of life by providing measurement science and technology and by advancing standards, primarily for the electronics and electrical industries. This statement is sup- ported by a strategic plan, which was revised during 2002.2 KEEL is organized in six divisions and two offices: the Electricity Division, Semiconductor Elec- tronics Division, Electromagnetic Technology Division, Radio-Frequency Technology Division, Opto- electronics Division, Magnetic Technology Division, Office of Microelectronics Programs (OMP), and Office of Law Enforcement Standards (OLES) (see Figure 2.1~. This chapter provides an assessment of the laboratory overall, and each division is reviewed in Chapter 9. The discussion of OMP is included in the section "Semiconductor Electronics Division" in Chapter 9. The OLES was not reviewed during fiscal year 2003. Major Observations The panel presents the following major observations from its assessment of the Electronics and Electrical Engineering Laboratory: · The work in KEEL continues to be of very high technical merit and quality. Many staff members are recognized as world leaders in their fields. In general, there is significant linkage between KEEL projects and the goals of the laboratory supporting NIST's mission. This situation is due largely to the efforts of an intensely committed staff and to management's support and recognition of the value of these efforts. So that KEEL can achieve greater impact through higher visibility, the panel recommends a more concerted effort to publicize the accomplishments of KEEL research and its satisfactory cus- tomer services. · In general, the morale of the staff in the laboratory remains high. This is due principally to the excellent work environment, talented and helpful co-workers, and significant flexibility in conducting research. · The extended period of excessively lean budgets for the support of current laboratory activities now clearly has an influence on its present and future capabilities and effectiveness. Short budgets present significant constraints on the laborator~'s capabilities to execute its strategic plan and. in particular, seriously affect succession planning because it is not possible to hire new people until experienced staff members have retired. To prevent the loss of valuable knowledge, new people should be hired and trained by experienced staff members prior to their retirement. In addition, the panel is very concerned with the reduction in numbers of personnel resulting from the continued static or declining budgets and also with the ultimate impact of these reductions on staff morale and the technical quality of work. · Planning for the equipping and use of the Advanced Measurement Laboratory (AML) is now in progress; however, the panel is highly concerned with the fact that insufficient funding is available to move personnel and sophisticated equipment into the facility and to support the AML's operations once 2U.S. Department of Commerce, Technology Administration, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Electronics and Electrical Engineering Laboratory Strategic Plan 2002, NISTIR 6844, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, Md., February 2002.
18 | Electricity Division | Ele~ctromagnetic · Electronic Technology Instruments and Division Metrology · Quantum Voltage · Fundamental · Cryogenic Electrical Sensors Measurements · Nanoscale · Electrical Systems Cryoelectronics · Electronic · Quantum Information Information and Technologies Terahertz Technology AN ASSESSMENT OF THE NIST MEASUREMENT AND STANDARDS LABORATORIES: FY 2003 Office of Microelectronics Programs Electronics and Electrical Engineering Laboratory Office of Law Enforcement Standards Optoelectronics Division · Sources and Detectors · Optical Fiber and Components · Optoelectronic Manufacturing Semiconductor Electronics Division · Materials Technology · Advanced Microelectronics Technology · Device Technology · Integrated Circuit Technology Radio -Frequency Technology Division · Radio-Frequency Electronics · Radio-Frequency Fields Magnetic Technology Division · Magnetics · Superconductivity FIGURE 2.1 Organizational structure of the Electronics and Electrical Engineering Laboratory. Listed under each division are its groups. it is occupied. Prolonged moving periods will disrupt normal laboratory activities and the capacity at which the AML's services can be provided. At the present time there is no assurance that adequate funding will be made available to sunnort the move. start-un expenditures. and operational and mainte- . · . .. · ~ , . · . · . . · . .. . . - .. - nance costs. · The panel supports KEEL's efforts in staff preparation for leadership positions and encourages continued and augmented training opportunities to deal with issues of succession associated with the impending retirement of key managerial personnel. In addition, the panel recommends more communi- cation between management and staff on the alignment of rewards with performance indicators.
ELECTRONICS AND ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING LABORATORY 19 · Impressive progress has been made by the staff in realigning projects with the Strategic Focus Areas and toward OA opportunities. The panel recommends a more focused and coordinated effort across divisions to effectively leverage expertise and capabilities. Technical Merit The technical merit and quality of research and services carried out by KEEL continued at a very high level during this assessment period. Many projects navigate the cutting edge of scientific under- standing and are closely integrated with and serve to advance the standards and calibration services that the laboratory is asked to perform. In the following brief list the panel points out some of the projects that stand out for their excellence and that illustrate the merit of the laboratory's work: · KEEL programs in metrology continue to be at the forefront of similar efforts, with many measurements achieving the world, s best performance including the volt, the ohm, optical power, and wavelength standards, among others. These programs help to retain U.S. leadership in the field of standards, and in some cases eventually redefine the standards. The panel was particularly impressed with the exceptional level of technical skill and creativity of the laboratory's researchers. · The Electronic Kilogram project continues to advance, with the goal of providing an alternative definition of the unit of mass that is based on measured quantities determined by fundamental physical constants of nature. The unit of mass is currently based on a physical artifact, whose copies differ by non-negligible amounts. The project combines the use of a number of existing electrical standards (the volt and the ohm) in order to generate a known force through means of a complex, yet fundamentally deterministic, magnetic system. Numerous foreign bureaus of standards are making efforts to eliminate these artifacts. The program at NIST is at the forefront of these efforts. · The Advanced MOS (metal-oxide semiconductor) Device Reliability and Characterization project has successfully kept pace with mainstream International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS) requirements for silicon dioxide measurements. Research efforts continue to provide fundamen- tal understanding and physical models for the investigation of silicon dioxide failure mechanisms. The NIST standards are now being adopted internationally and are being used, for example, in the qualifica- tion of offshore foundries. · The Quantum Information and Terahertz Technology project involves the development of sen- sors with improved accuracy, speed, and sensitivity in the millimeter-wave and near-infrared regime. Applications include the identification of concealed weapons at room temperature, astrophysical appli- , · 1 1- , ~ , 1 · · 1 , · ~1 · , r ,1 · · , · · · ret cations, and use as a diagnostic tool In semiconductor processing. l he Impact ot this project Is s~gn~- cant, particularly with respect to providing excellent support for national interests in homeland security, communications, and computing. · The Nonlinear Device Characterization project characterized the phase error in the nose-to-nose calibration of sampling down converters. This advance has uncovered a previously ignored, fundamen- tal calibration issue that causes a large uncertainty error. Also, a more general, nonlinear definition of scattering parameters was developed in collaboration with a University of Colorado faculty researcher; it uses a matrix formulation and reduces to the classical definition for linear networks. · The Metrology for Bioeffects of RF (Radio-Frequency) Energy project in support of the National Institutes of Health is conducting research using reverberation chamber technology. Rats are modeled by 0.5-liter water bottles, and the effect of multiple such phantoms on field distribution in reverberation chambers is being investigated. This work should result in a more efficient and repeatable method of evaluating potential health effects of low-level RF fields than that provided by currently available techniques.
20 AN ASSESSMENT OF THE NIST MEASUREMENT AND STANDARDS LABORATORIES: FY 2003 · Ultrahigh-speed photo detector measurements have been extended from 65 GHz to 110 GHz. Further, the vector response a capability providing both the magnitude and phase of the frequency response of high-speed detectors has been added. This important activity potentially addresses many major new applications areas, such as wireless communications, microwave photonics, and test equip- ment development and calibration. · The Single Molecule Manipulation and Measurement initiative has made substantial progress with the construction and testing of a micromachined magnetic trap fluid cell. The ability to sort and store molecules should have wide-ranging applications in chemical and biological industries. · The chip-scale atomic clock utilizes a microelectromechanical system (MEMS) Cs vapor cell for miniaturizing an atomic clock while keeping precise time measurements. This clock should be very useful for homeland and military security and for wider industrial applications in which small, relatively inexpensive devices to provide time standards are needed. Program Relevance and Effectiveness KEEL serves a wide array of customers, primarily in the electronics and electrical industries (includ- ing utilities, telecommunications, and wireless industries), and microelectronics and optoelectronics manufacturers. Laboratory efforts that support this work are included in the custody, maintenance, and optimization of highly accurate standards for electrical units; precise calibrations of electrical quantities; and the development of measurement infrastructures for semiconductor, superconductor, optical net- working, magnetic storage, and wireless-based services. The panel believes that KEEL divisions are doing an excellent job of providing services, interacting with their customers, performing scientific research, and circulating the results of their investigations. For example, KEEL researchers are world-recognized experts in the area of optoelectronics and have a reputation for supplying the world's best calibration services. Interest in their work is demonstrated by the high level of invited talks and journal articles that they produce each year. KEEL staff members continue to participate in standards bodies and literally set the standard for quality in the optoelectronics industry. Measurement techniques and calibration services in this area have recently been expanded to support technologies under development for homeland defense. Work in the Magnetic Technology Division features close collaboration between industrial and government partners for the development and support of technologies of current national interest: for example, high-speed nanoscale recording systems for the forensic analysis of tapes, magnetic field mapping, and molecular manipulation as part of the Single Molecule Manipulation and Measurement initiative. Discoveries from this division are providing solid underpinning for the next generation of magnetic data storage and microelectronics industries. Standards development, test methods, and services of the Radio-Frequency Technology Division are supporting the radio-frequency technologies and electromagnetic compatibility needs of U.S. indus- try. This division is actively involved in international and domestic standards activities to provide physically correct test methods and calibration service for U.S. trade and to serve as an impartial expert body for resolving potential worldwide measurement inconsistencies. Industry views the Semiconductor Electronics Division's contributions as unique and essential to efficiently providing measurement techniques and standards. NIST's being in a position to provide methods and standards without bias is seen as extremely beneficial to the overall industry and is unequaled by any other organization. No other body can provide this unique combination of skills and capabilities. The Electromagnetic Technology Division's development of quantum standards serves the elec-
ELECTRONICS AND ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING LABORATORY . 21 tropics industry with its voltage and capacitance standards as well as its sensors for X-ray analysis. Novel X-ray and infrared sensors have been used in radio astronomy. The development of quantum and nanoscale technology also provides the technological base for future sensors and standards. Terahertz sensors have been used in a prototype of a concealed weapons detection system, and superconducting circuits have been demonstrated for quantum computing that can be useful for revolutionary improve- ments in computing, communications, and encryption. Programs in KEEL clearly serve a broad range of scientific and commercial pursuits currently of interest to the nation. In the FY 2002 report, the panel cautioned about the necessity to avoid supporting programs that are no longer useful and suggested applying built-in checkpoints as a method to monitor current and future interest in a project. This panel still does not see that formal checkpoints are being built in to projects. These checkpoints would be specific times in the project plans at which input from customers on the project's goals, objectives, and progress would be sought. These interactions would provide an opportunity to validate the appropriateness of continuing programs and would allow for midcourse corrections that take into account shifts in customer priorities or focus. Laboratory Resources Funding sources for the Electronics and Electrical Engineering Laboratory are shown in Table 2.1. In January 2003, staffing for KEEL included 242 full-time permanent positions, of which 202 were for TABLE 2.1 Sources of Funding for the Electronics and Electrical Engineering Laboratory (in millions of dollars), FY 2000 to FY 2003 Fiscal Year Fiscal Year Fiscal Year Fiscal Year 2000 2001 2002 2003 Source of Funding (actual) (actual) (actual) (July 2003 estimate) NIST-STRS, excluding Competence 32.5 34.8 36.3 45.8 Competence 2.1 2.0 2.0 2.3 ATP 1.4 2.1 3.4 3.0 Measurement Services (SRM production) 0.2 0.3 0.3 0.2 OA/NFG/CRADA 13.8 19.7 20.9 30.0 Other Reimbursable 2.8 3.2 3.2 3.2 Total 52.7 62.0 66.1 84.5 Full-time permanent staff (totally 259 244 242 242 NOTE: Funding for the NIST Measurement and Standards Laboratories comes from a variety of sources. The laboratories receive appropriations from Congress, known as Scientific and Technical Research and Services (STRS) funding. Compe- tence funding also comes from NIST's congressional appropriations but is allocated by the NIST director's of lice in multiyear grants for projects that advance NIST's capabilities in new and emerging areas of measurement science. Advanced Technol- ogy Program (ATP) funding reflects support from NIST's ATP for work done at the NIST laboratories in collaboration with or in support of ATP projects. Funding to support production of Standard Reference Materials (SRMs) is tied to the use of such products and is classified as "Measurement Services." NIST laboratories also receive funding through grants or contracts from other [government] agencies (OA), from nonfederal government (NFG) agencies, and from industry in the form of cooperative research and development agreements (CRADAs). All other laboratory funding, including that for Calibration Services, is grouped under "Other Reimbursable." aThe number of full-time permanent staff is as of January of that fiscal year.
22 AN ASSESSMENT OF THE NIST MEASUREMENT AND STANDARDS LABORATORIES: FY 2003 technical professionals. There were also 39 nonpermanent and supplemental personnel, such as post- doctoral research associates and temporary or part-time workers. Overall, the panel believes that the laboratory is doing the best it can to support its mission, given the constraints of personnel and fiscal resources as well as aging equipment and facilities. In KEEL, the budget gap is mended mostly through the painstaking and creative efforts of the staff to fill in personnel gaps with postdoctoral associates, students, and part-time staff; to increase the levels of outside other agencies (OA) and Advanced Technology Program (ATP) funding; and to use creative approaches to build outside collaborations that result in the expansion of experimental resources. As an example, the Semiconductor Electronics Division is partnering with SEMATECH to use its critical dimension (CD) measurement capability to support metrology needed by the semiconductor industry. Additionally, members of the research staff have volunteered their time to upgrade and recycle existing equipment to meet the requirements of advanced experimentation. Across the board, laboratory projects continue to struggle with non-inflation-adjusted budgets and loss of personnel. These constraints inevitably restrict the ability to be responsive and, to a lesser extent, innovative vis-a-vis the changing reality of metrology in an international context. The panel observes that shrinking budgets create an ever-shrinking workforce. As more and more is asked from each division operating under the constraint of maintaining legacy systems, salary increases with decreasing budgets force the division not to replace personnel as they retire or leave. Additionally, senior staff turnover due to retirement is expected to be high over the next 3 to 5 years, meaning that there will be a loss of valuable expertise. Succession planning factored with strategic planning is critical to the future health and survivability of the divisions. Such planning must be done before the staff shrinks further, so that critical work can be continued while new capabilities are developed. Examples of the impact of limited resources on the division' s effectiveness are available. The Time Domain Measurements Group, for one, has turned down homeland security projects because of the lack of needed human resources. The primary researcher on the Gaithersburg single-electron transistor (SET) project is forced to spend months of his time dealing with commercial equipment failures. Unavoidable demands of calibration services hamper the essential development of modern AC-DC transfer devices. Each of these examples involves intensely committed staff members whose value is clearly recognized by division and laboratory management and who are actively supported, based on sound judgment, to the extent of current funding capabilities. But limitations on those funding capabilities are now having a direct and negative impact. It must be made clear that this situation will likely not, in the panel's opinion, be addressed by additional reallocation of resources, as has already happened for some projects; because overall resource allocation is so thinly stretched, equally troublesome examples would quickly turn up in other programs. The problem is instead related to the overall level of support. A serious concern linked to funding is the occupancy and use of the new AML facility. The AML buildings represent the state of the art in physical sciences research and metrology, with impressive specifications for temperature, humidity, vibration control, and power; these buildings present a tremen- dous opportunity for future efforts at NIST. The panel is pleased that detailed plans are in place and that ongoing planning adjustments are being made, with operational units strongly involved, to accomplish the move into the AML facility should funds become available. However, funding appears to be inadequate for properly and effectively moving into and using this world-class facility. Although the panel learned that efforts are being made to secure the funds needed, there is no assurance that they will be provided. It would not appear to be sensible, or in fact sometimes even possible, to have current equipment simply moved into the new buildings without significant interruptions of calibration services or substantial risk to precious equipment. A realistic evaluation of the funding required to capitalize on the nation's prudent investment in these new buildings should be made. There is significant concern that
ELECTRONICS AND ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING LABORATORY 23 the facility's clean room, once operational, may be underutilized owing to insufficient capital equip- ment. Finally, the panel is very concerned that the equipment operation and maintenance costs may not be fully budgeted. The panel strongly recommends developing a plan that is comprehensive and that aligns well with NIST's long-term strategic plan. The lack of provisions for steady equipment infrastructure improvements is a perennial worry to KEEL management, which realizes that the laboratory cannot remain at the cutting edge without con- stant and systematic upgrading of the experimental facilities. The panel again deems the current status of Building 24 on the Boulder campus to be marginally functional. Although the condition of the facility has improved, its current state will significantly compromise NIST's ability to perform near-field antenna pattern measurements as they continue to push to higher frequencies (beyond 110 GHz); a prime example is the new Millimeter Planar Near Field system. Continuing the development of facilities for higher frequencies will enhance the laboratory's understanding of the limitations imposed by the current facility. In addition, the panel repeats its recommendation from last year's report to significantly upgrade the Boulder facilities. The Radio-Frequency Technology Division has envisioned and has developed a proposal for a new, world-class radio-frequency electromagnetics experimental research and measurement standards facility that responds to the status of electromagnetic (EM) field technology users and will enhance the ability of NIST to carry out its mission to support industry. The panel believes that this new facility is critical to the future success of the division and recommends that the effort be pushed forward. The short-term plans for enhancing the existing laboratories will result in more resistance to developing the RF-EM Field Metrology Laboratory: "There is nothing more permanent than a temporary situation." Laboratory Responsiveness The laboratory's responses to most of the concerns presented in the FY 2002 report, as well as the speed and level at which these changes have taken place, are generally impressive. First of all, the panel applauds the effort in the development of the KEEL Operational Plan and the beginning of an effort to align KEEL projects with NIST Strategic Focus Areas. The panel recommends the continuation and refinement of the Operational Plan so that it becomes broadly adopted within the laboratory, as well as continuous communication with all staff members to ensure a higher level of understanding. One panel recommendation in last year's report related to the development of project evaluation criteria key milestones with quantitative benchmarks. The panel saw significant efforts and progress being made in this direction. The panel believes that this is one of the most important aspects in project management and recommends the continuation of focused effort in this regard. The panel notes significant progress in the establishment of a systematic approach for the use and equipping of the AML. In particular, major progress has been made this past year in the development of an overall clean room utilization plan and associated capital equipment list. The plan, which has been agreed to by all of the NIST laboratories, is a major accomplishment. However, as discussed in the previous section, the panel is still concerned about the inadequacy of funding for the acquisition of essential and state-of-the-art equipment; the move of equipment and people into AML; the setup, operation, and maintenance of the equipment; and the upkeep and maintenance of existing activities during the move. Examples of the laboratory's commendable responsiveness to the FY 2002 report include the reorganization and redirection of projects in the Electricity Division to improve resource allocation and productivity. The Electromagnetic Technology Division increased its staff size and added a new dilution
24 AN ASSESSMENT OF THE NIST MEASUREMENT AND STANDARDS LABORATORIES: FY 2003 refrigerator to overcome measurement bottlenecks. In the Radio-Frequency Technology Division, sig- nificant progress has been made in the automation of calibration processes an effort is to be com- mended. The Optoelectronics Division has increased calibration services for higher-power, fiber-coupled power meters, extended high-speed photodetector calibration services to 110 GHz, and increased re- search in the area of polarization mode dispersion measurement and emulation. The researchers from the division greatly increased their visibility by leading industry workshops in this important field of study and setting up a Web site for wider dissemination of results.
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