are currently in press, with 26 more submitted for publication. CNST staff and leadership have also garnered an impressive array of external professional awards since the previous review.11


The work carried out at the CNST covers a wide range, varying from nanofabrication and other services, through relatively near term collaborations with industry, to extremely fundamental science that may lead to future measurement capabilities. It is important to recognize the tension inherent in supporting both high-quality science and measurement capabilities and user facilities. This tension adds richness to the CNST environment, but it needs to be monitored and balanced continually. The diversity of effort is well aligned with the CNST vision and is key to the center’s ability to meet its mission, both now and in the future.

A number of good examples of close interactions and collaborations between industry and the research groups were discussed during the review. In some cases, the instrumentation or understanding provided through the interaction helped a company develop or improve a product. In other cases, CNST staff led the development of instrumentation (in a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement, or CRADA) that significantly enhanced equipment sold by a company. These interactions appear to be rather common throughout the CNST, but a quantification of the number and scale of such collaborations was not provided to the panel.

The NanoFab facility and its highly skilled staff can be credited with a major advance in the research capabilities of the CNST. A dynamic group of researchers including students, postdoctoral researchers, and NIST staff are engaged in research utilizing this modern capability. A very high percentage of presentations (both oral and poster) during the review indicated that the research described in the presentations depended in some way on the NanoFab.


11 National Institute of Standards and Technology, Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology 2010, NIST SP 1121, March 2011, pp. 76-77. See Accessed June 29, 2011.

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