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Physics Laboratory 43

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44 AN ASSESSMENT OF THE NIST MEASUREMENT AND STANDARDS LABORATORIES: FY 2003 PANEL MEMBERS Duncan T. Moore, University of Rochester, Chair Robert L. Byer, Stanford University, Vice Chair Robert H. Austin, Princeton University Patricia A. Baisden, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory John H. Bruning, Corning Tropel Corporation A. Welford Castleman, Jr., Pennsylvania State University John F. Dicello, Johns Hopkins University R. Michael Garvey, Datum Timing, Test and Measurement, Inc. Lene Vestergaard Hau, Harvard University Tony F. Heinz, Columbia University Jan F. Herbst, General Motors Research and Development Center Franz J. Himpsel, University of Wisconsin at Madison David S. Leckrone, Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA Lute Maleki, Jet Propulsion Laboratory Robert T. Menzies, Jet Propulsion Laboratory Dennis M. Mills, Argonne National Laboratory James M. Palmer, University of Arizona William N. Partlo, Cymer, Inc. Robert M. Shelby, IBM Corporation David A. Vroom, Tyco Electronics Thad G. Walker, University of Wisconsin at Madison Frank W. Wise, Cornell University Submitted for the panel by its Chair, Duncan T. Moore, and its Vice Chair, Robert L. Byer, this assessment of the fiscal year 2003 activities of the Physics Laboratory is based on site visits by indi- vidual panel members, a formal meeting of the panel on February 1 1-12, 2003, in Gaithersburg, Mary- land, and documents provided by the laboratory. 1U.S. Department of Commerce, Technology Administration, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Physics Laboratory, NISTSP 994, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, Md., February 2003.

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PHYSICS LABORATORY 45 LABORATORY-LEVEL REVIEW This chapter presents an overall assessment of the Physics Laboratory, beginning with the panel's major observations from this year's review. Chapter 12 provides division-level assessments. The Physics Laboratory describes its mission as supporting U.S. industry by providing measure- ment services and research for electronic, optical, and radiation technologies. It is organized in six divisions: the Electron and Optical Physics Division, Atomic Physics Division, Optical Technology Division. Ionizing Radiation Division. Time and Frequency Division. and Quantum Physics Division in. . a_ . . . , ~ , ~ ~ , _ (JILA). The organizational structure of the Physics Laboratory is shown in Figure 5.1. Major Observations The panel presents the following major observations from its assessment of the Physics Laboratory: The Physics Laboratory continues its tradition of technical excellence in the development and dissemination of precise metrics related to physical processes and in the experimental and theoretical contributions that it makes toward improving the understanding of fundamental physical principles. The laboratory's capital equipment budget is currently insufficient to support needed upgrades to the sophisticated instruments that are fundamental to its mission. The Physics Laboratory must continue to develop a strategic planning and prioritization process that results in clear laboratory goals and priorities, which can be used to allocate resources, determine program prioritization, and produce enhanced program focus and effectiveness. The panel observed little response to its recommendation from last year' s report that strongly encouraged further develop- ment of the laboratory's strategic plan. The panel reiterates its recommendation that the current strategic plan for the Physics Laboratory be updated and that it be made available for review during the next assessment period. The division chiefs should exert more effort in communicating clear laboratory goals to the staff in order to improve morale and reduce uncertainties that accompany restricted budget environments. There is confusion within the staff concerning intellectual property. The laboratory needs to enunciate a simple and clear philosophy and policy concerning intellectual property and how it affects performance. This information and procedures for disclosure and patenting of inventions should be clearly communicated to the staff. Responses of the laboratory to the national homeland security initiative have been excellent. This work has resulted in a shift of emphasis of some programs and loss of personnel which, unless longer- term resources are provided, will be detrimental to ongoing programs. The staff retirement in the Time and Frequency Division leaves a vacancy that will seriously affect the implementation of its work. The laboratory should respond rapidly with a plan that will keep the affected efforts current and continuing. The Ionizing Radiation Division should expand its activities in the medical radiation communi- ties to support the development of usage protocols and to implement their institutionalization. A person is needed to champion efforts related to the recently acquired medical accelerator. The panel appreciates the new meeting format this year but suggests that future speakers limit the number of viewgraphs used in order to keep presentations within the time scheduled and to permit a period for questions and discussion.

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46 AN ASSESSMENT OF THE NIST MEASUREMENT AND STANDARDS LABORATORIES: FY 2003 Physics Laboratory Electron and I ~ Opti~calTechnolo~ly Optical Physics Division Division Optical Photon Thermometry and Physics Spectral Methods Far UV Optical Properties Electron . and Infrared Physics Technology Optical Sensor Laser Applications Time and Frequency Division Ion Storage Time and Frequency Services Atomic Standards Optical Frequency Measurements Atomic Physics Division Atomic Spectroscopy Quantum Processes Plasma Radiation Laser Cooling and Trapping Quantum Metrology Ionizing Radiation Division Radiation Interactions and Dosimetry Neutron Interactions and Dosimetry Radioactivity Quantum Physics Division (JILA) FIGURE 5.1 Organizational structure of the Physics Laboratory. Listed under each division except Quantum Physics (JILA) are the division's groups. Technical Merit The NIST Physics Laboratory has long been known among its technical peers for the outstanding level of its scientific research. The laboratory has a tradition of world leadership in many of its areas of activity. Overall, its researchers are well known for the originality of their work, their ability to carry out difficult measurements to record levels of precision, and their deep understanding of the basic physical phenomena that underlie such measurements.

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PHYSICS LABORATORY 47 In its current assessment, the panel found that the Physics Laboratory continues its tradition of outstanding, original, scientific research and application of rigorous experimental and theoretical ap- proaches to maintain record levels of precision and accuracy in measurements of physical phenomena. The panel continues to be impressed with the quality and the quantity of top-notch scientific results reported in papers published in leading peer-reviewed scientific journals and in presentations and invited talks at leading technical conferences. Such reporting gives testimony to the technical merit and high level of respect accorded to NIST scientists and their work by the scientific community. The laboratory has made many notable technical advances this year, as discussed in the division reviews in Chapter 12. Some examples of achievements illustrating the excellent quality and technical merit of this work are highlighted below: Significant progress has been made this year on the "atom on demand" effort, which involves capturing single atoms in a magneto-optical trap and then moving them with lasers. A high-power CO2 laser has been acquired to extract atoms from the source. The next steps are to assess the viability of this approach and then to place atoms into specific magnetic traps. While operating in the realm of nano- science, this work has the potential objective of creating quantum computing architectures. The definition of a universal logic gate, the so-called geometric phase gate, has been completed. This gate appears to substantially ease requirements on lasers, for example, and is well suited to scaling the systems to larger numbers of ions, which in turn offers the potential for realizable large-scale quantum computers. Considerable progress has been made in several areas addressing the continuous refinement of time and frequency measurements. NIST continues to define the state of the art in these measurements and, along with the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) in Germany, is considered first in primary frequency standards performance. Last year's clock comparison with PTB was the best ever, at 5 parts in 10-~6. Improvements accomplished this year in the understanding of systematic and environ- mental effects on two-way time transfer support this effort. The electron beam ion trap (EBIT) team continues to be a leader in studies of the fundamental properties of highly charged ions for both fundamental science and its applications. Ongoing measure- ments of the properties of optical materials at the 157-nm wavelength is fundamental to future-genera- tion vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) lithography for integrated circuits. Discovery of the original birefrin- gence phenomenon and of methods for its avoidance has brought substantial outside recognition to the group. Recent demonstration of the Bose condensate in Cs gas and work on coherent manipulation of collisions in Bose-Einstein condensates (BECs) permit new insights into the production of ultracold molecules and also seed new concepts for neutral-atom quantum computing. This work is carried out by one of the few theoretical atomic, molecular, and optical physics groups in the United States; as such, the Quantum Processes Group is a national resource and leader. The expertise of the laboratory is recognized as supporting several important areas of homeland security. As a member of the Mail Security Task Force of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), the Ionizing Radiation Division has been working on sanitizing mail con- taminated by anthrax during bioterror actions and on associated issues. In the current year appropriate radiation dosages for parcel packages have been validated, and it has been determined that DNA profiling is still possible following mail irradiation. Other ongoing efforts in this area include the examination and development of high-energy X rays for cargo inspections. Continued development of surface-sensitive optical methods pioneered at the laboratory has had a significant impact on priority areas, from semiconductor technology to biotechnology, as well as on

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48 AN ASSESSMENT OF THE NIST MEASUREMENT AND STANDARDS LABORATORIES: FY 2003 inherent scientific understanding. These contributions are having a marked impact on laboratories throughout the world. Recent advances have included the use of doubly resonant (vibrational and electronic) excitation to enhance the sensitivity and selectivity of these methods. Studies of chemical groups in DNA monolayers have successfully demonstrated the technique. Program Relevance and Effectiveness The Physics Laboratory continues to reach out through a variety of efforts to ensure that its pro- grams are responsive to customer and national needs and that reliable experimental and theoretical information is maintained to support emerging technological and scientific directions. These approaches include individual interactions with customers, industries, and collaborating researchers, as well as the initiation of topical workshops and active involvement in technical conferences and consortia. As an example, the panel points out the activities of the Council for Optical Radiation Measurements (CORM). This council, originally instituted at NIST, evaluates national needs in optical metrology and provides feedback on the services and standards supplied by the Optical Technology Division. The calorimetry facility, for example, was developed in response to CORM recommendations. Activities of the Ionizing Radiation Division in the area of homeland security have been particularly visible and commendable, resulting in immediate responses to sanitize mail contaminated by anthrax spores through bioterrorist activities that had the potential to stop mail service across wide areas of the country. The Ionizing Radiation Division continues to participate in a national task force aimed at keeping various forms of U.S. mail and archival documents safe. In the coming year, its division chief will be retained by the Department of Homeland Security in the areas of program evaluation and development. This assignment will provide further opportunities for the laboratory to align its resources for participating in this highly important national initiative. The panel further emphasizes observations on homeland security made by last year's panel: that is, the Physics Laboratory is now well positioned to accomplish NIST aims in homeland security and should develop an aggressive proposal in this area with appropriate federal and private partnerships. The Physics Laboratory continues to serve as a central, impartial presence in metrology and calibra- tions for commercial and scientific technology development. Laboratories worldwide rely on its mea- surements for assessing time, frequency, radiation effects, radiological materials, and the behavior and properties of optical materials and phenomena. Thus the Physics Laboratory is a national scientific treasure. In the present assessment the panel notes that little response has been made to the issues that were raised by last year's panel concerning the utility of the strategic plan that had been presented for the Physics Laboratory. Considerable discussion was devoted to this topic, as reflected in the paragraph from last year's report quoted here for reference: In last year's assessment,2 the panel noted that clearly articulated strategic goals for the Physics Labora- tory would improve program alignment with customer needs and facilitate more effective communica- tion of program relevance both within NIST and to external stakeholders. The panel notes that, in response, the laboratory has developed a revised strategic plan, which is an important first step in strategic program management. The current plan, however, does not appear very useful. It appears to have been written by an outside consultant, with minimal involvement by division managers. The panel 2National Research Council, An Assessment of the National Institute of Standards and Technology Measurement and Standards Laboratories: Fiscal Year 2001, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., 2001.

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PHYSICS LABORATORY found little evidence of the plan's use for allocating resources relative to priorities and little indication that the divisions understand the laboratorywide goals and priorities enunciated in the plan. In some cases, divisions are receiving mixed signals about the importance of and the level of support for specific programs. The basis for the program prioritization presented in the plan itself remains unclear. The process of creating a strategic plan is probably more important than the final document itself engaging division management and broad staff representation is necessary if the end result is to be clearly under- stood goals and priorities and better program focus, relevance, and effectiveness. The panel noted that each division is already carrying out strategic program management to at least some degree; these divisional efforts are the basis on which a useful laboratorywide strategy can be built.3 49 The panel reiterates its belief that strategic planning should be a continuous process in the lab- oratory's research agenda as a means to maintain the relevance and effectiveness of its programs. Laboratory Resources Funding sources for the Physics Laboratory are shown in Table 5.1. In January 2003, staffing estimates for the Physics Laboratory show 196 full-time permanent positions, of which 155 were for technical professionals. There were also 48 nonpermanent or supplemental personnel, such as postdoctoral research associates and temporary or part-time workers. Despite constrained budgets, the Physics Laboratory facilities still appear to sustain the laboratory's current projects. However, there is increasing concern over the lack of adequate funds for necessary building repairs and capital equipment purchases, upgrades, and maintenance. In the Time and Fre- quency Division, the cesium primary standard is housed in a laboratory with a leaky roof, and the test and measurements laboratory is hindered by radio-frequency and microwave signal interference that will likely limit the ability to conduct future noise measurements with needed sensitivities. Although the laboratory has responded remarkably to homeland defense needs, radiation equipment will require updating to meet the demands of newer radiologically based programs. The fact that funding for homeland security projects has not been allocated is creating a drain on other programs. On the other hand, laboratory space for the Time and Freauencv Division has improved markedly. Two new laboratories with exceptional environmental controls have been constructed. These laborato- ries, which will house the laser and quantum logic work, have the best environmental controls on the site. Old space will be renovated and used for the primary cesium clock fountains. New laboratory space for optical frequency measurements and the chip-scale atomic clock project will be completed soon. A plan exists to renovate all Time and Frequency Division laboratories over the next 10 years. The Optical Technology Division is home to several unique pieces of instrumentation that underlie the mission of the division. Facilities maintained and developed by the division include the spectral irradiance and radiance calibration with uniform sources (SIRCUS), the high-accuracy cryogenic radi- ometer (HACR), the Synchrotron Ultraviolet Radiation Facility (SURF), and instrumentation for deter- mination of the temperature scales in the high temperature range. The division has been able to provide ongoing resources not only to maintain existing facilities but also to upgrade them, with respect to both technical specifications and ease of operations. This trend is illustrated by the shift toward source-based radiometry and away from detector-based radiometry, the former being more convenient for the genera- tion of transfer standards and ready calibration of commercial instrumentation. 3National Research Council, An Assessment of the National Institute of Standards and Technology Measurement and Standards Laboratories: Fiscal Year 2002, National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 2002, p. 131.

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so AN ASSESSMENT OF THE NIST MEASUREMENT AND STANDARDS LABORATORIES: FY 2003 TABLE 5.1 Sources of Funding for the Physics 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 33.0 33.0 34.0 40.6 Competence 1.6 1.8 3.1 2.3 ATP 1.9 1.9 2.2 2.2 Measurement Services (SRM production) 0.2 0.1 0.1 0.1 OA/NFG/CRADA 10.1 10.6 1 1.8 17.1 Other Reimbursable 3.6 4.2 4.4 4.6 Total 50.4 51.6 55.6 66.9 Full-time permanent staff (totally 204 200 205 196 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. Despite the laboratory's ambitious technical objectives, funding of the laboratory has been re- strained, and the number of permanent employees is strictly limited. Further, steadily increasing over- head rates erode the ability to provide secure, long-term support for the laboratory's excellent perma- nent staff. To meet their goals, divisions are making use of personnel in various other budgetary categories, such as postdoctoral researchers, contract employees, and emeritus staff. The presence of scientists in nonregular job categories significantly extends the capabilities of the laboratory. At the same time, it provides for the needed flexibility to accommodate changes in funding level and program emphasis. This mode of operation appears to the panel to be effective, although care must be taken to avoid losing critical expertise within the permanent staff. Oftentimes, some critical technical expertise resides in a single staff member whose departure could have a significant impact on current programs. The Atomic Physics Division has been strongly affected by the redirection of its resources to homeland security efforts. In particular, the Quantum Metrology Group transferred 20 percent of its base funding to another division, and it lost the group leader to retirement and another staff member to homeland security activities. These actions have led to a critical situation for the group, and the antici- pated replacement of these resources has not occurred. Remaining group staff members are early in their careers and very enthusiastic about the work they are performing. To maintain the group, a more aggressive hiring plan needs to be developed, to include not only permanent staff but also postdoctoral associates and/or visiting scientists, or other creative approaches to increasing staff numbers.

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PHYSICS LABORATORY 5 The key resource for the laboratory is, of course, its technical workforce. In its discussions the panel found, in accordance with recent laboratory-wide surveys, that the level of morale was high. Other than concern about the tight budgets and significant budgetary uncertainties associated with the outlook for the Advanced Technology Program and other programs, the panel did not identify major personnel issues. Laboratory Responsiveness Overall, the Physics Laboratory has been responsive to the recommendations of previous reports. The primary recommendation in recent years was to improve the focus of programs through clearly articulated, overall strategic goals. The panel' s FY 2002 assessment noted that the laboratory had taken the first step toward responding to this recommendation, and the panel commended the laboratory for its leadership role in the NIST-wide health care initiative. In the current year, the laboratory is working with the University of Maryland to tap into its computational physics strengths in an effort to augment the laboratory's capabilities for the establishment of new funding opportunities. While this effort has not yet established new work, the panel believes that the association can be highly beneficial in the long run. Other responses within the divisions have contributed to the overall health of the laboratory. Two examples are discussed below. The Electron and Optical Physics Division has responded energetically to last year's recommenda- tions. The Far UV Physics Group has acquired and is testing a photoelectron microscope, and it is also working to further exploit the unique capabilities of SURF III for producing spectrally pure and easily tunable photons in the 3- to 5-eV energy interval. A continuing concern over the past several years has been the long-term viability of the Atomic Spectroscopy Group, given its aging staff, inadequate funding, and the lack of enthusiasm for its strategic mission at high levels of NIST management. In last year's report the panel expressed signifi- cant concerns on this subject. As of this year's review, the prognosis for the group appears much improved. The Atomic Spectroscopy staff now includes several young members who can be easily viewed as forming the future core of the group. The energy and passion of these younger scientists are evident and contribute to the optimism of the group as a whole. The laboratory has provided a basic level of funding, and the group has had a successful year in attracting new grant funding from various sources. Although the group is not growing dramatically, at least its situation has stabilized, and its outlook for the future is brighter.

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