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8 Recommendations The panel recommends that the concerns detailed in Chapter 5, “General Observations and Concerns,” be addressed. Additional recommendations in general areas across divisions, as well as those that are division-specific, are listed below. GENERAL Calibration services in all divisions call for a transparent process, guideline criteria, and a monitoring procedure. Considerations include funding sources, fees generated, initiating new services, terminating old services, and increasing or decreasing services in relation to industry needs and strategic rationale. The current panel assessment criteria used for this report are adequate and comprehensive, yet additional considerations should include the following: —Synchronization in the strategic plans of NIST, the EEEL, and EEEL’s divisions; —Project priority setting, using clearly defined factors; —Workability of the administrative boundary between NIST and the EEEL; and —Projects’ alignment with the national priorities. The Smart Grid program, in need of an integrated and collaborative effort, calls for the deliberation of a technical management structure that sets the program’s roadmap, selects expertise, monitors the process, and manages the operation, being responsible for the program’s progress. Initial planning of the Smart Grid program should include the security of data links with more than one encryption scheme. Multiple, redundant data links including fiber, microwave, and radio frequency are essential. Photovoltaics is a growing industry and highly relevant to the national priorities of alternate energy sources and green energy technology. A photovoltaics project is warranted. OPTOELECTRONICS DIVISION In the strategic program theme area of Quantum Information and Metrology, which includes very fine work, the underlying connecting theme requires clarification. There are projects in detectors, sources, the quantum candela, the Schrödinger cat, the entangled photon, and other areas. These form the components of a potentially exciting program with great impact, but the details of what the program is, where it is going, and how staff are interconnected require clarification. There is a need for better explication of how the single- and entangled-photon source work fits into the overall vision 37
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of the EEEL and how the sources play into the detector. It is clear, for example, that to develop high-efficiency detectors and also ways to characterize (e.g., quantum entanglement), one must also be able to produce clean sources of single photons, photon pairs, and entanglement. This overall mission and the relation of each project to it need to be stated more clearly. A clearer roadmap is needed, or at least a more coherent picture of how the detector work complements the source work and how this all comes together into a coherent program that encompasses all of the interesting research. There should be a specific roadmap for the quantum candela project, stating the problem, the specific goal of the single-photon source to replace the current blackbody source, and a proposed plan on how to get from here to there. Perhaps the roadmap will change as more is learned, and that is fine, but the importance of such a roadmap is to concentrate thought into a concrete plan. There is a need to tie the materials analysis of the carbon nanotubes to toxicity studies. This is a great opportunity to provide some interorganizational efforts and also points out the need for providing a safe environment for NIST researchers. Stating the goal of the project and a brief description of the roadmap to the goal would be helpful for all projects during future reviews. SEMICONDUCTOR ELECTRONICS DIVISION Until now, most of the power-device testing has been at the device level. With the emphasis on smart grid technology, it will be more important for the power-device group to look at reliability, not only at the device level, but also at the system level. The smart grid work should provide an opportunity for other-agency funding, since the DARPA SiC project is winding down. The division is planning the establishment of a center for nanoelectronics reliability. The idea is to leverage the resources at NIST and to coordinate research efforts of universities, industry, and other agencies to meet the future reliability challenge. It has already gained the support of the Semiconductor Research Corporation, SEMATECH, and the National Science Foundation. The goal of the center will be to develop new measurement techniques to push the frontier, to provide measurement facilities too costly for universities to acquire, and to enable universities to access samples from the industry while protecting sensitive information. One of the visions of the group is to develop a microelectron paramagnetic resonance spectrometer for nondestructive detection of a single defect by full wafer probing. The plan and the effort merit support. The Semiconductor Electronics Division should play a leadership role in the development of metrologies in the emerging area of bioelectronics. This would require adding new personnel. There is a resurgence in analog and mixed-signal electronics because of the large growth in sensor networks, sensor arrays, and wireless interconnectivity. Analog will be a critical component of bioelectronics because of the need to 38
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interface bioelectronic sensors with digital processors. The SED currently has a very small effort in analog and mixed-signal electronics. Since the U.S. semiconductor industry is expanding its activities in analog technology, it would be important for the SED to have an activity to support analog development. The focus could be analog reliability, which would fit in the planned center for nanoelectronics reliability, but it could also be a bridge between bioelectronics and device reliability. There is need for an intersection with mixed-signal electronics to support projects in bioelectronics. Among the projects that could benefit from mixed-signal electronics would be the impedimetric cell physiometer. This should align well with work in the Office of Microelectronics Programs. QUANTUM ELECTRICAL METROLOGY DIVISION The business model for calibration services at the facilities of the Quantum Electrical Metrology Division in Gaithersburg, Maryland, should be clarified. The excellent fabrication facilities at Boulder, Colorado, and the Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology are particularly valuable. The pressure on the Boulder fabrication facility will be reduced by the new fabrication facility under construction, which was supported by the stimulus money. However, the existing clean-room management model (i.e., the facility is run by the QEM group in Boulder but used by all other Boulder groups) should not be extended to the new, enlarged facility. A new approach toward fabrication facility management must be developed to maintain the internationally leading fabrication while expanding the throughput. ELECTROMAGNETICS DIVISION A focus on the application of superconductivity to the future smart electrical grid initiatives should be pursued to continue the Superconductivity program team’s national leadership role in superconducting measurements and to participate in an important cross-divisional laboratory project. Widespread collaboration is essential; the extent of these collaborations should be more formally explained during future reviews. The division should consider open sourcing the work to avoid potentially inhibiting intellectual property concerns in the new fields. The area of metamaterials warrants investigation, particularly from the point of view of metrology, in developing the capability for rigorous metamaterial measurements. Metamaterial slab properties should be measured with sufficient bandwidth to elucidate the effects of dispersion. Metamaterial performance versus sample size should be studied; negative-index materials (NIMs) that are large in wavelengths may have certain useful properties―a critical question is how the NIM properties degrade as the sample size is decreased. The behavior of metamaterials in near fields (as opposed to plane waves) should be studied, because most proposed antenna applications are in 39
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the near field. Methods for measuring the phase, loss, and reflection coefficient of artificial magnetic conductors should be developed and calibrated. This work should be carried out with both experiments and numerical simulations in which the microscopic structure of the metamaterial is faithfully represented. 40