Chapter 2

Electronics and Electrical Engineering Laboratory



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An Assessment of the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY PROGRAMS: Fiscal Year 1994 Chapter 2 Electronics and Electrical Engineering Laboratory

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An Assessment of the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY PROGRAMS: Fiscal Year 1994 PANEL MEMBERS V. Thomas Rhyne, Microelectronics and Computer Technology Corporation, Chair B. Jayant Baliga, North Carolina State University Gary M. Davidson, TRW Douglas K. Finnemore, Iowa State University James F. Freedman, Semiconductor Research Corporation William J. Gallager, IBM T.J. Watson Research Center H. R. Hofmann, AT&T Bell Laboratories Roger F. Hoyt, IBM Almaden Research Center James D. Huff, Scientific-Atlanta, Inc. Richard I. Knight, Tektronix, Inc. Frederick J. Leonberger, United Technologies Photonics, Inc. George A. Maneatis, Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (retired) Suzanne R. Nagel, AT&T Bell Laboratories Arthur A. Oliner, Polytechnic University Don Parker, Hughes Aircraft Company D. Howard Phillips, Consultant, Durham, North Carolina Thomas J. Shaffner, Texas Instruments Incorporated Horst L. Stormer, AT&T Bell Laboratories Hugo Vifian, Hewlett-Packard Company Owen P. Williams, Motorola, Inc. Invited Participant George Gross, University of Illinois Submitted for the panel by its Chair, V. Thomas Rhyne, this assessment of the fiscal year 1994 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 16-18, 1994, in Gaithersburg, Maryland, and on documents provided by the laboratory.

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An Assessment of the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY PROGRAMS: Fiscal Year 1994 LABORATORY OVERVIEW Mission The formally stated mission of NIST's Electronics and Electrical Engineering Laboratory (EEEL) is as follows: The Electronics and Electrical Engineering Laboratory improves U.S. economic competitiveness, Government operations, and health and safety by providing essential supporting technology, generic technology, and fundamental research to industry, government, and educational institutions. Key deliverables are measurement capability (for absolute accuracy and reproducibility) and materials reference data. These are realized through development of measurement methods, support theory, measurement reference standards (including the national primary standards for electricity, and materials reference standards), and calibration and other measurement services to assure measurement traceability. The deliverables are provided for electronic and electrical materials, components, equipment, and systems, operating from dc to light. These deliverables support research and development, manufacturing, marketplace exchange, and operation of electronic and electrical products. Restated in simple terms in the laboratory's 1994 Program Plan, this mission is “to promote U.S. economic growth through improved international competitiveness, by providing measurement capability of high economic impact focused primarily on the critical needs of the U.S. electronics and electrical-equipment industries.” Strategy EEEL strives to provide leading-edge measurement capability supportive of the major steps required to realize competitive products in the marketplace: research and development (R&D), manufacturing, marketplace exchange, and after-sales support. EEEL serves a broad spectrum of current national goals, including support for national initiatives in communications (the National Information Infrastructure, NII), transportation (Smart Cars/Smart Highways, Air Traffic Control Modernization, and Magnetic Levitation and High-Speed Rail Transportation), energy (Alternative Fuel Vehicles, Building and Industrial Conservation, and Federal Buildings Energy Efficiency), and the environment (Environmental Technology, Green Energy-Efficient Programs, and Weather Service Modernization). The current EEEL strategy focuses on three major areas of deliverables: measurement capability, technology development, and fundamental research. EEEL efforts in these areas are tempered by the laboratory's fundamental mission of providing high-impact measurement capability. EEEL documented the need for such measurements in Measurements for Competitiveness in Electronics (NISTIR 4583, U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, D.C., April 1993), prepared in conjunction with U.S. industry and other NIST laboratories. This assessment, and other industry-related EEEL activities such as field studies and trip reports from

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An Assessment of the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY PROGRAMS: Fiscal Year 1994 technical conferences attended by EEEL staff, keep EEEL's metrology-based activities oriented to the current and future needs of U.S. industries. EEEL management stated that the laboratory is currently able to address only about 20 percent of the needs documented in its assessment. EEEL's strategy focuses on developing measurement capabilities that are beyond the reach of individual companies involved in or affected by electronics and electrical engineering. EEEL places the highest priority on delivering absolute accuracy, followed by providing reproducible measurement capability. This may involve developing a new documented measurement method, a special measurement device for use by industries or by EEEL calibration services, an improved reference standard to assure the accuracy of a measurement method, a new method of delivery of measurement capability, or a standard reference material (SRM). EEEL generally engages in technology development only when such development supports its measurement mission, devoting no more than 10 percent of its resources to development outside of that mission in cases where unusually high impact is forecast. An example of such an outreach project is the development of standard data structures for describing electronic components as part of the international effort in electronic product data exchange and electronic commerce. EEEL also conducts directed fundamental research as an integral part of its measurement development projects to nucleate pathbreaking measurement capabilities in all of the broad program areas within the laboratory. Fundamental research projects are selected based on likely benefits to measurement development for U.S. industry. EEEL disseminates its results through communications activities (publications, visits, technical meeting presentations, and so on), through joint activities (participation in standards organizations, Cooperative Research and Development Agreements [CRADAs], and work with on-site guest scientists), and through paid services (custom measurement development, SRMs, calibration services, and training courses). These deliverables serve the U.S. electronics industry; the electrical equipment industry; a variety of federal, state, and local government agencies; and educational institutions. Resources EEEL's operating budget for fiscal year 1994 is $45.4 million, up $3.3 million (8 percent) from EEEL operational expenditures during fiscal year 1993. Of this, $28.4 million is congressionally appropriated funding for Scientific and Technical Research and Services (STRS) or core funding, an increase of $4.4 million (18 percent). STRS is the most stable source of EEEL funding. For fiscal year 1994, STRS funds provide 63 percent of the EEEL budget, up from 57 percent in fiscal year 1993. Other sources of fiscal year 1994 funding include $2.5 million from the Advanced Technology Program (ATP), $2.2 million from the performance of calibration services, and $12.3 million from external sources, primarily other federal agencies (other agency, or OA, funding) such as the Department of Defense (DOD). ATP funding has increased $500,000 (25 percent) over fiscal year 1993. Calibration services funding has increased $100,000 (5 percent). OA funding decreased $1.7 million (12 percent). Calibration income generated by EEEL represents 42 percent of NIST's total calibration income.

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An Assessment of the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY PROGRAMS: Fiscal Year 1994 At the start of 1993, EEEL staff members totaled 354, including 238 technical professionals of whom 121 hold the PhD degree. EEEL hosted 46 guest researchers in 1993. At the start of 1994, staffing decreased by 11 to 343, including 235 professional staff members. The number of PhD staff members is planned to increase to 126 during 1994, largely through EEEL efforts to recruit recent PhD graduates. Plans for guest researchers in 1994 show an increase to 59. The stated goals for EEEL resource development are, by fiscal year 1996, to eliminate dependence on outside funding for EEEL research and development activities, to maintain current staff size, and to train and select staff to increase competence and suitability for the changing technical and managerial requirements faced by EEEL. Assessment of Strategy The panel endorses EEEL's strategic plan but notes a mismatch between available resources and the plan's breadth. Increases in STRS funds and ATP funds available to EEEL appear likely to mitigate this situation, and long-range STRS budget projections that shift from OA to stable STRS funding should also improve EEEL's coverage of industry's known metrology needs. Should those increases not be realized, however, EEEL's capacity to meet its mission is questionable. EEEL's efforts to maintain close ties to related industries are especially noteworthy, as are efforts to add new staff with strong technical credentials. The panel judges that EEEL's goals for resource development are appropriate, especially as those goals move EEEL away from using OA funds to support its basic mission. The decrease of linkages to outside funding agencies, many of which have their own technical agendas, may provide opportunities for EEEL to expand activities into new areas with high potential benefit to EEEL customers. The shift away from OA funding, however, must be handled with care to assure that contact with customers and links to industry's and external agencies' needs are maintained. The transition must also be made carefully to minimize morale problems when EEEL staff face the cessation of long-term OA projects. EEEL seems to respond best to those sectors of industry that are the more organized and vocal; however, other sectors of the industry critically important to U.S. competitiveness have unmet metrology needs. EEEL could be more proactive in identifying these industrial sectors and assisting them in identifying and meeting their metrology needs. The panel judges the split of the Electromagnetic Technology Division to be appropriate, allowing the staff of the resulting divisions to concentrate on well-defined technical missions. Assessment of Technical Programs The panel found the technical programs of EEEL to be generally effective and competent. However, given EEEL's inability to address a major portion of identified industrial needs, selection of programs against current industrial and government needs requires constant attention and review. Specific comments on programs are provided in the divisional assessments below.

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An Assessment of the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY PROGRAMS: Fiscal Year 1994 Recommendations The following are the panel's recommendations for EEEL as a whole. EEEL technical management should conduct periodic reviews of fundamental research activities to verify that projects have a strong likelihood of benefiting the laboratory's mission and to identify new areas in which fundamental research is critically needed to provide sufficient measurement capabilities for advancing calibration and repeatability requirements. Given limited resources, EEEL must assure that its work addresses areas forecast to have the highest impact. Procedures for assigning technical work to divisions should be reviewed to assure that work is assigned most appropriately. Efforts to align the division's strengths more closely with the global EEEL mission should continue. EEEL should identify less organized sectors of the U.S. electronics and electrical engineering industry, which seem of critical importance to U.S. competitiveness, and provide support or leadership in identifying their metrology needs. As NIST's resources increase, EEEL should be proactive in obtaining resources for work in basic measurements and R&D of critical importance to the U.S. electronics and electrical engineering industries. EEEL staff should review current policies regarding support of non-U.S.-owned industries, since the technical needs of foreign-owned companies may be of critical importance to industrial developments in the United States and to agreement between U.S. standards and measurements and those of international trading partners and competitors. EEEL technical management should shorten the cycle of project initiation and development in areas of critical metrology needs. The accelerating pace of technological advance brings new needs for accuracy and repeatability, and in many areas industry has already matched current EEEL measurement capabilities. Opportunities exist for more complete utilization of the Baldrige Award criteria in laboratory planning and execution. The panel found no consistent use of such a system within NIST, although some efforts have begun; EEEL has no strategic plan to put such a system in place. EEEL should leverage resources through targeted participation in ATP proposals. This effort can also help organize industrial participation in key areas of technology development. EEEL management and NIST human resources personnel must maintain the strength of the technical staff as the role of EEEL shifts away from some long-term OA customers and their specialized technical requirements. Appropriate retraining opportunities should be provided for displaced staff, and staff with new capabilities must be recruited.

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An Assessment of the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY PROGRAMS: Fiscal Year 1994 EEEL Response to Fiscal Year 1993 Recommendation Given below is the panel's major fiscal year 1993 recommendation for EEEL as a whole (quoted from the fiscal year 1993 assessment), with EEEL's response. “As well as refine its process for selecting and funding new projects, EEEL should plan to phase out or terminate projects” (p. 32). EEEL management and staff have established top-down and bottom-up processes to optimize EEEL's project portfolio, and they continue to examine, evaluate, and improve OA processes. Projects are agreed to by staff and management and are reviewed at the division level quarterly; any necessary modifications are documented in the Quarterly Management Report. In addition, a management review of each project during the previous year assured that management and staff had consistent expectations for the projects. NIST also undertook two activities to improve the selection and evaluation of projects. It published procedures for selecting and evaluating projects so that staff and anyone inside or outside of government could understand processes and propose improvements, and it sent each staff member a summary of how internal funding is allocated to individual projects and solicited their evaluation of the process and suggestions for improvement. DIVISIONAL ASSESSMENTS Electricity Division Mission The Electricity Division maintains and improves the national standards of electrical measurement and develops stable standards for the dissemination of the units of electrical measure. The division realizes the electrical units in terms of the International System of Units and determines the fundamental constants related to electrical units. The division is responsible for providing calibration services and for developing and improving the measurement methods and services needed to support electrical materials, components, instruments, and systems used for generation, transmission, and detection of conducted electrical power. In addition, members of the division apply their expertise to selected scientific and technological problems in other areas of NIST research. Strategy The Electricity Division's strategy involves projects in six areas: national standards, low frequency, video, power, automated electronic manufacturing, and semiconductors. The strategy in national standards is to achieve higher levels of accuracy in electrical measurements and standards and easier replication for direct use by other organizations and to support research and development, manufacturing, quality control, and marketplace exchange. These goals will be achieved through exploiting quantum phenomena. In the Low Frequency project, the division seeks to support measurement of the values of passive components, such as resistors, capacitors, and inductors, and to provide methods for

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An Assessment of the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY PROGRAMS: Fiscal Year 1994 characterizing active components, such as integrated circuits, and circuit assemblies, but with a special focus on products used for measurement. The strategy is to pursue the two key directions of achieving higher accuracy at higher frequencies for evaluation of components, circuit assemblies, and equipment and of advancing measurement efficiency. Work on high-leverage requirements for testing of analog, digital, and mixed-signal circuits is also planned, including development of models and software to improve the efficiency of characterizing mixed-signal circuits, development of a theoretical basis for fundamental advances in self-calibration of measurement equipment, and evaluation of the need for improved methods of “built-in tests.” In the Video project, the division has identified several focus areas where progress is required for the success of advanced video systems. These areas include development of measurement methods for evaluating video quality and flat-panel display performance and possible development of measurement methods for video cameras. In power research, the division seeks to provide measurements needed to support the electrical utility industry and to do research in dielectrics. In the Automated Electronic Manufacturing (AEM) Program, the division seeks to develop and demonstrate specifications and supporting technologies for computer-interpretable product data exchange, with a focus on electrical and electronic products. In semiconductor research, the division seeks to address plasma processing. Resources The resources available to the Electricity Division in 1993 included 80 staff members (56 technical professionals, 24 PhDs) and $9.6 million in funding ($5 million from STRS, $1.3 million from ATP, $1.1 million from calibration services income, and $2.2 million from other sources). During 1993 the division chief retired and was replaced from within. Staffing for 1994 is planned at essentially the same level. The fiscal year 1994 budget shows a modest increase to $10.3 million ($5.7 million from STRS, $0.8 million from ATP, $1.3 million from calibration services income, and $2.5 million from other sources). The panel found the staff within this division competent to perform the divisional mission, and enthusiasm for carrying out that mission was high. Overall morale seems to be suffering because of uncertainties about future funding and changes of administration. Assessment of Strategy Although the overall strategy of the Electricity Division is consistent with industry requirements, the panel found several significant areas needing more effective planning and program improvement. In the Electrical Reference Standards Group, the panel is concerned with staff downsizing and increases in the technical scope of the work. Single-point dependence on staff members continues; if a staff member leaves or is reassigned, technical expertise in that person 's area becomes limited or nonexistent, perhaps threatening the group 's ability to maintain the national standards for which it is responsible. The panel is also concerned about NIST's ability to provide adequate calibration services during reconstruction of this group's facilities.

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An Assessment of the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY PROGRAMS: Fiscal Year 1994 New standards are being developed every day, and industrial use of existing intrinsic standards is expanding. This trend will reduce EEEL's calibration workload, but not relieve NIST and EEEL of maintaining U.S. basic standards. Since these intrinsic standards are complex and when not properly operated may yield false measurement values, NIST and EEEL must develop a measurement assurance system to preclude degradation of the U.S. measurement system. The National Calibration Laboratory Accreditation Program will be announced during calendar year 1994; this division will be responsible for ensuring the technical adequacy of this program's electrical measurements. To be of significant value, the NIST accreditation program must be accepted internationally; this program will require identification and resolution of technical differences with other national programs, such as specific methods of developing traceability through scaling, and formal coordination in basic standards. NIST must also attain compliance with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Guide 25. Registrations to the ISO 9000 series quality standards (or the U.S. Q90 series equivalents) are increasing. The calibration requirements of these standards are more stringent than generally practiced by U.S. industry, and compliance will affect NIST calibration services workload and worldwide recognition. NIST was not yet in compliance with ISO 9000 at the time of this assessment. For direct current (dc) voltage measurements, industrial measurements in the range between 10 V dc and 10 kV dc are generally accomplished through scaling. In this voltage range, confidence of measurements is limited by effects of leakage, and scaling techniques may not detect leakage problems. The division should consider new work in this area. In the Low Frequency Group, the technical staff is addressing higher accuracy at higher frequencies and appears to have the specialized skill required to work effectively in this area. However, some of the topics being considered in the area of measurements of complex electronic systems will require additional skills and a larger staff than currently available. Studies planned for the near future should assist in setting a focus and allocating resources for this area. The current strategy is in alignment with the division mission and will deliver the intended benefits by enhancing the efficiency of the industrial R&D and manufacturing processes for a specific but broadly used type of circuitry. Achieving these benefits requires that work be done in very close collaboration with intended users, both to validate the economic benefits and to provide a context for future priority setting. The current strategy of the Video Group is aligned with the division mission and will deliver its first benefits to users of flat-panel displays. This work uses common technology elements but addresses quite different users within industry. It is critical that this work be done in close coordination with expected user groups. The goals established have value only if achieved within a window of need set by industry. Staff and equipment in the Power Group are more than adequate to support all current projects, and the available facilities are of world-class caliber. In activities such as partial discharge measurement, impulse measurements, and lighting, however, facilities appear underutilized. These resources can be more effectively exploited by increasing the scope and range of impact of activities in the power sector. The division's strategy should be more closely aligned with current and future changes in the electric utility industry. The advent of new players and stakeholders in the industry— independent power generators, energy services companies, public interest groups—calls for a broader base of customers than just utilities. This division may be able to spur the development of

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An Assessment of the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY PROGRAMS: Fiscal Year 1994 a roadmap for the electric utility industry similar to that for the semiconductor industry. As this industry enters an environment of increasing competition on a national and international basis, the division should carve out a role in fostering its improved competitiveness. This division has the resources and skills to provide unique value-added services to the “new” utility industry. The AEM Program is doing an excellent job of targeting high-impact work in product data. Its strategy of leveraging its resources through close cooperation with other NIST laboratories, other standards bodies, and key industries appears to be quite effective. The objective of facilitating harmonization among major electrical data transfer standards, though ambitious, is much needed. At present this project appears to be critically understaffed in relation to its technical objectives and industry's needs. Loss of 1994 initiative funding has not allowed planned expansion. Projected funding increases for 1995, if fully realized, will help to alleviate this shortfall. The panel found planned work in plasma processing was well structured though only loosely connected to the work of the EEEL Semiconductor Electronics Division. Assessment of Technical Programs In national standards, duplicating the National Physical Laboratory (U.K.) system for resistors in the tera-ohm range and for alternating current (ac) resistance is prudent compared with previous pursuit of other technologies. Impressive work is continuing in the Electricity Division on ac/dc thermal voltage converters, and new work in Josephson junction arrays promises development of an intrinsic ac voltage standard. Both technologies have a place in the foreseeable future, but the short- and long-term effects of each are different. Strategic planning is required to properly merge the two technologies. High-speed pulse generation, measurement, and characterization constitute one of the frontiers in high-speed instrumentation that is continually pushed by advances in materials, devices, and system technology. The division is currently applying a highly effective combination of in-house technology, cooperation with vendors, and characterization of commercial equipment to provide capabilities that keep abreast of changing needs. The incorporation of “round-robin” tests and support of standards development are effective tools for supporting industry's metrology needs. A very high leverage component of these efforts is ensuring that precise, independently verifiable pulse sources are available for characterization of both current and future waveform acquisition systems. The technical content of the Low Frequency project builds effectively on staff expertise in waveform acquisition devices and standards. However, special attention will be needed to ensure that this work is closely coupled with that of industrial users. The ultimate success of this project will be determined as much by successful technology transfer as by the extension of current analytic techniques. The panel found work in ac/dc thermal transfer standards impressive. In addition to applications within NIST, these devices have a high probability of commercial use. The division has three CRADAs relating to these devices and a fourth potential CRADA.

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An Assessment of the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY PROGRAMS: Fiscal Year 1994 Although progress is being made, it appears to the panel that the division's impedance laboratories will require another 3 years of work before they are at parity with industry. Use of phase and voltage methods is a dramatic improvement in technology. Video projects are all directed at industrial measurement requirements and standards. Because of the rapid change in the technology base for flat panels and video compression, the division faces the challenge of delivering useful measurement methods in a timely manner. Current work lags behind users' requirements, as this project is still in the start-up phase. Establishing initial high-leverage milestones is essential; these are in place for flat-panel testing, where the initial focus on flat-panel display measurements seems logical and practical. The most difficult project to define and address is metrics for video quality. The rapid shift to compressed digital video both increases the importance of metrics and complicates the task. It would be a significant fiscal year 1994 achievement to define representative industry requirements for metrics and to determine a best-case technical approach to pursue. It is possible that this may accelerate the need for additional computational capability to ensure that software developed during the project is created in a form transferable to broad segments of industry. The AEM Program's work in facilitating the development and demonstration of electronic commerce of component information technologies and standards has been of great benefit to that national effort and holds promise for having a significant impact on the U.S. electronics component industry. Work to promulgate data exchange via World Wide Web also appears to be of great value, especially for the expanding NII. Recommendations The following are the panel's recommendations for the Electricity Division. The Electricity Division's mission statement should mention the fundamental goals of its work and, since it does not currently include the entire scope of the division's responsibilities, it should be written with a wider focus. Although relatively small in dollar terms, the power industry influences the competitiveness of most U.S. industries. NIST support of the power industry is modest, and even this may be lost as skills and facilities are redeployed to areas with more organized and vocal customers. Changes in the structure of the electric utility industry and its research arm, the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), provide a window of opportunity enabling the division to serve this industry's needs by (1) broadening activities to provide services to new players and stakeholders in the power industry through industry groups such as the Edison Electric Institute, the American Public Power Association, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, and the National Institute for Electric Power; (2) improving technology transfer to the industry (for example, SF6 measurement technology has not been transferred for use); (3) widening the use of collaborative arrangements with the industry; and (4) developing new customers for metrology services such as independent power producers and large industrial customers.

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An Assessment of the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY PROGRAMS: Fiscal Year 1994 clear definition of specific customer needs to demonstrate the importance of this investment to industrial competitiveness. The laser power and energy measurement strategy appears responsive to specific industrial requests and appropriate for the limited and focused capability in this area. However, given the breadth of technologies associated with laser applications, it is critical that all appropriate NIST laboratories cooperate to assure that NIST provides programs that meet the needs of this area. Given the double-digit growth of the optical electronics industry and the importance of the fiber optics infrastructure for global multimedia communications, the lack of any funding increase for this new division in fiscal year 1994 seems inappropriate. Flat funding does not allow growth or help reduce project cycle time, and standards and traceability for many basic parameters have yet to be established. These demands cannot be addressed currently unless funds are directed away from other important projects. Only the Integrated Optoelectronics project, which has included device work and process metrology and which now also includes thrusts in optical interconnects, received a substantial funding increase. Integrated optoelectronics process metrology is not a unique competence for NIST and is not necessarily a high industry priority compared with optoelectronic device measurement metrology, erbium-doped fiber amplifier (EDFA) characterization methodology, and fiber dispersion measurements and standards (in particular, polarization mode and chromatic dispersion). It is not clear from project allocations that funding is prioritized relative to critical needs. The Optical Electronics Division must learn how to move into new areas while managing its existing capability. In many cases it is appropriate that external financial support be developed in order to continue services in mature areas. By refining a strategy for external funding, new initiatives could be undertaken in areas such as optical data storage. The panel is concerned that timely responsiveness to these emerging areas of optical electronics is not being achieved because of financial constraints and project scope. The panel encourages development of a refined and integrated strategy during fiscal year 1994 to address these issues. Assessment of Technical Programs The panel was impressed by the high quality of the Optical Electronics Division's work; in particular, work on fiber measurement and standards, fiber sensors, and integrated optoelectronic devices has made outstanding progress. The panel emphasizes the need for the new division to refine the focus of its technical activities relative to U.S. industrial needs. The panel observed some synergies among the projects and highlights them here, as they could lead to a more customer-focused organization. For example, the panel has concluded that combining fiber measurement activity and the characterization portion of the fiber sensor work might be advantageous, given commonality in basic measurement needs. Characterization of fiber components for EDFAs could also be included in this area. The Integrated Optoelectronics project is a well-intended effort to demonstrate new integrated optics devices and to contribute to in-process metrology for III-V structure growth. However, work on integrated optics devices should be more focused on device metrology, since process metrology work is very capital intensive. Also, very tight coupling with high-volume

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An Assessment of the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY PROGRAMS: Fiscal Year 1994 state-of-the-art industrial processes is instrumental to making the most valuable contribution in this area. The benefit of in-process metrology and its consistence with the division's mission are not clear to the outside observer. The program for measurement of sources and detectors has continued to show excellent results and represents one of the core competencies of the division. The panel encourages more proactive work in source and detector standards. The need for future frequency response measurements beyond 60 GHz has to be monitored, but the need for more accurate power measurements, wavelength standards, and noise measurements is very real and needs to be addressed now. To leverage resources better, the EDFA characterization effort at the subassembly level could be integrated into this program, a step that would also better align the division's capability with the components manufacturing industry. The total scope of the Laser Power and Energy Measurement project is limited relative to the laser industry's needs. In the communications bands (850, 1300, and 1500 nm), there is good synergy with other division activities. Given limited resources, more general work needs to be very responsive to specific customer requests. Expansion in this area should be based on an external funding strategy. In the Optical Fiber Sensor project, fiber measurement activity is very synergistic with the Optical Fiber Measurement Systems and Standards project. As pointed out in the fiscal year 1993 assessment (p. 62), there seems to be enough synergy to consolidate these two efforts. Providing sensors for other laboratories and groups to enhance measurement capabilities is a very important task that is closely coupled to potential users and is also a basis for providing an opportunity for specific customer feedback. This aspect of the work warrants a separate group activity. The explosion in electronics and multimedia communication will provide a tremendous challenge and opportunity for EEEL, but particularly for the new Optical Electronics Division. One measure of the division 's effectiveness will be how well it observes new technology, invents measurement solutions for emerging applications, and provides standards and traceability for products in the manufacturing phase. The new division can play a major role in meeting this challenge. Recommendations The following are the panel's recommendations for the Optical Electronics Division. The Optical Electronics Division should consider potential needs related to displays, optical computation/interconnect, ultrahigh-speed (tera-bit) technology, and soliton measurements. The division should support a moderate effort on emerging technologies with fundamental needs for new measurement concepts, including high-speed technology up to 60 GHz, measurement needs for wavelength division multiplexing, and optical storage. The division should maintain or expand significant efforts on technologies already in the manufacturing phase: (1) fiber measurements (expanded effort in dispersion measurements and standards, EDFA component characterization, and nonlinear effects in fibers [EDFA; wavelength-division multiplexers, WDM]); (2) integrated optoelectronics (modulators

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An Assessment of the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY PROGRAMS: Fiscal Year 1994 [electro-optical converters], polarizers/depolarizers, WDM filters, and frequency standards in the optical communications bands); (3) measurements for sources, detectors, and amplifiers (expanded effort for noise measurements, EDFA characterization); (4) power measurements (maintain progress in improved power meter accuracy and standards); and (5) optical sensors (build cooperative efforts with other NIST laboratories). The division should continue to assess customer needs by maintaining direct contact with all major optical electronics industries and participation in standards groups. The division should develop an external funding strategy for mature programs in order to use internal funds to expand support for critical areas, particularly those entering the manufacturing stage. The division should clearly delineate the EEEL role relative to that of the Physics Laboratory in detector characterization and narrow-line laser diode characterization. Industrial pull on the existing capability should be a major consideration in resolving issues of organizational overlap. NIST requires a strategy for meeting the needs of the laser industry in industrial and medical applications. The Optical Electronics Division alone does not have the resources to support needs ranging from short-wavelength lithography to medical welding and cutting applications. The division role should be defined in the context of the entire NIST effort. Optical Electronics Division Responses to Fiscal Year 1993 Recommendations Given below are some of the panel's fiscal year 1993 recommendations concerning the programs in the new Optical Electronics Division (quoted from the fiscal year 1993 assessment), with the division's responses. “The Laser Power and Energy Measurement project's activities in the definition of parameters to characterize non-Gaussian laser beam profiles should continue, and efforts in the optical-fiber power meter area should continue to investigate issues associated with reflections from fiber connectors. The transmittance measurements on samples of laser-safety eye wear are also significant. It is important that the excimer calorimetry system and the Nd:YAG laser calibration system come on-line as expeditiously as possible, to be responsive to industry requests” (p. 60). The division is continuing a laser-beam-profile round-robin with industry to help industry improve its measurement accuracy. Work on optical fiber power meters continues, and during fiscal year 1993, a NIST-developed system was installed at the Air Force's Primary Standards Laboratory. The division plans to complete a round-robin in this measurement area within 2 years. A round-robin on connectors is being conducted in cooperation with the Telecommunication Industry Association and is expected to be completed within fiscal year 1994. Excimer laser and the Nd:YAG systems were scheduled for completion in fiscal year 1994. NIST has completed the work that it needs to do in laser-safety eyewear and will continue to monitor the situation to see if additional work is necessary.

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An Assessment of the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY PROGRAMS: Fiscal Year 1994 “Specially grown glasses have produced promising results, and a significant level of effort should continue. The lasing properties of these glass guides should be investigated, with a significant focus on understanding the implications for amplifiers and addressing material and measurement issues” (p. 62). The division has continued work on promising devices, with particular attention to their operation at telecommunications wavelengths. Since the 1993 assessment, a laser operating at 1557 nm, 1350 nm, and 900 nm was demonstrated. “Because of the potential importance of LiTaO3 devices, the Optoelectronics Metrology Group should collaborate with integrated optic manufacturers, users, and material suppliers to develop characterization methods to qualify and improve wafers. As a result of the embryonic state of guided-wave devices, the group has a good opportunity to be involved in the development of the technology from the beginning” (p. 62). EEEL finds a strong consensus in industry that better measurements and data on LiTaO3 are needed. Interest in LiTaO3 devices, including work on visible sources, also seems to be increasing. The division is responding by initiating a materials characterization effort in fiscal year 1994. “To examine sensors beyond those that are intensity-based, such as frequency-based sensors, expand the new approach to remote self-calibrating systems. Supplement outside funding with more internal funding directed toward some new sensor applications such as distributed, environmental, or chemical sensing. Also, strengthen theoretical work to provide new impetus to experimental ideas” (p. 63). In optoelectronics, EEEL has given optical telecommunications the highest priority, followed by optical enhancements of computing and optical sensors. Internal funding for generic sensor development and evaluation will be limited for the foreseeable future. Electro-optic sensor development is generally done by the organizational unit that has responsibility for the quantity of interest; thus, the Chemical Science and Technology Laboratory is developing electro-optic chemical sensors. The Optical Electronics Division's project focuses on generic sensor data and characterization techniques and serves as a resource to other NIST programs, including specific sensor development responding to unmet needs for electrical measurements appropriate to other EEEL programs. Cryoelectronic Metrology and Superconductivity and Magnetics Division Mission The Cryoelectronic Metrology Group and the Superconductor and Magnetic Measurements Group, which were being reorganized into a new division at the time of this assessment, invent, develop, use, and transfer to others standards and measurement techniques based on cryogenic phenomena and magnetism that can be used broadly throughout industry. Strategy The strategy of the new Cryoelectronic Metrology and Superconductivity and Magnetics Division is based on the recognition that both superconductivity and magnetics will be sources of new advances in many areas of electrical engineering and electronics. The division has established a program to develop measurement techniques in these areas and to provide basic design data

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An Assessment of the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY PROGRAMS: Fiscal Year 1994 describing properties of magnetic materials and practical superconductors being developed by industry for large magnets, electrical machines, and magnetic recording. Another program applies the unique properties of tunnel junctions and superconductors, and particularly the Josephson effect, to the advancement of NIST's basic mission of providing fundamental standards and physical measurements to create new fundamental physical standards of quantities such as voltage, current, and microwave power. The magnetics strategy also includes development of high-spatial-resolution measurements of magnetic fields, topography of components in storage devices, and exploratory work on sensors for readback in magnetic recording based on giant magnetoresistance. Expansion of work into a broader range of topics for the storage industry was proposed in the fiscal year 1992 magnetics initiative but was not carried out. Resources The new Cryoelectronic Metrology and Superconductivity and Magnetics Division consists of the Cryoelectronic Metrology Group and the Superconductor and Magnetic Measurements Group. Forty-nine total staff members are being carried forward into the new division, representing 39.6 full-time equivalent staff. The fiscal year 1993 funding for the two groups was $6.9 million ($4.3 million from STRS funds, $379,000 from ATP funds, and $2.2 million from other sources). For fiscal year 1994 the new division will receive a 4 percent increase in funds to $7.1 million ($4.9 million from STRS funds, $475,000 from ATP funds, and $1.8 million from other sources). Assessment of Strategy The panel was presented with varying statements of the Cryoelectronic Metrology and Superconductivity and Magnetics Division's superconductivity mission and strategy and consolidated them (see above). One concise statement that is both descriptive and prescriptive should be developed and communicated. The panel believes that such a statement will help focus activities on the core mission, a particularly important step in a time of constrained resources. The emerging division is planning no growth in staff in the area of superconductivity. The panel concurs with this decision because it supports NIST's intention to increase activities in strategic areas, such as magnetic storage technology, for which there is an enormously large U.S. industry. The panel cautions, however, that as internal resources are shifted, superconducting activities must remain at a level sufficient to meet the core mission in that area of technology. Supporting and extending the Josephson voltage standard, developing new quantum-based current and capacitance standards, developing techniques, instruments, and standards for wires and tapes to be used in large-scale superconducting magnets, and developing ultrasensitive radiation detectors are activities that are at the core mission of this emerging division. These areas were world class when part of the Electromagnetic Technology Division; they should be a continuing emphasis as the division is split. The panel believes that both basic research in materials and generic support of integrated superconducting thin film technology are also vital for this division, most particularly as that research supports and extends divisional work in standards, materials, and detectors or is closely

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An Assessment of the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY PROGRAMS: Fiscal Year 1994 and meaningfully coupled with major application problems. Resources dictate that other research problems must be very carefully selected and pursued. For example, the panel questions the strategic value of work on tunable ferroelectrics and further work on superconductor-normal and superconductor-semiconductor contacts, in particular thin film geometries. Although the panel recognizes that the division is capable of excellent scientific work in these areas, limited resources could be better deployed to support the core mission. Examples of higher-impact research problems that are more in keeping with the division's mission include such areas as research to enable high-current, low-resistance contacts to high-critical-temperature (high-Tc) wires and superconducting splices between high-Tc wires. The current projects and measurement capabilities associated with magnetics provide a good base for characterization of bulk and thin film magnetic samples. The division has documented opportunities to contribute to information storage technology in Measurements for Competitiveness in Electronics (NISTIR 4583). Work focused on storage applications of magnetics should be reexamined for its ultimate impact on industrial competitiveness. Assessment of Technical Programs Since the panel's fiscal year 1993 assessment, members of the Cryoelectronic Metrology Group made several major strides towards quantum-based current and capacitance standards, including 0.5-ppm counting accuracy in a five-junction electron pump, as verified by counting with a single-electron interferometer. Key noise sources were identified and eliminated to reach this stage. The next step to achieve metrological accuracy is a seven-junction pump. The Single Electron project, the result of a competence-building effort now nearing the end of funding, has established this division as a world leader in this area of metrological applications. The potential is clearly present for EEEL—and ultimately for U.S. industry —to take the world lead in applying these quantum standards, as is done for the series-array voltage standard. It is absolutely vital that funding and staffing of this project be stabilized as the competence-building funding ends. Unfortunately, it appears that important NIST-wide funding initiatives in quantum standards aimed at building up more broadly based expertise in this area have only peripherally included this project, and the project's funding and staffing appear to be insecure. The division's support and advancement of the Josephson array voltage standard had excellent accomplishments along a broad front since the fiscal year 1993 assessment. There is now a commercial supplier for 1-V standard chips, which NIST certifies and is making a standard reference material. Commercial attempts to fabricate 10-V chips have not yet yielded working parts, but EEEL has fabricated enough 10-V chips now to maintain a comfortable inventory for supporting worldwide use of the 10-V standard. This division is still the only laboratory in the world producing such chips. Excellent support has also been provided to users of the NIST standard, which now number more than 35 national, commercial, and military standards laboratories. U.S. companies now supply complete voltage standard systems traceable to NIST, a profitable business. Promising new research results in the division include the successful demonstration of a rapidly programmable Josephson voltage standard that may eventually serve as a high-accuracy root-mean-square voltage standard, possibly replacing thermal converter standards. Another

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An Assessment of the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY PROGRAMS: Fiscal Year 1994 important accomplishment since the panel's fiscal year 1993 assessment was the development and delivery to several companies of supercurrent simulation circuits. These circuits will enable companies to make measurements that ensure meaningful and useful product specifications for superconducting wires and tapes. Worldwide round-robin tests have been conducted as part of a quality assurance program, and an EEEL scientist was chosen to chair the Technical Committee on Superconductivity of the International Electrotechnical Commission. Valuable progress and accomplishments were also observed in the development of kinetic inductance radiometer devices for ionizing radiation detectors and spectrometers, the achievement of extremely low contact resistance and high current densities in high-Tc superconductor-normal metal thin film contacts, and the production of high-Tc devices incorporating junctions and ground planes as required for high-frequency applications. Particularly noteworthy is the stabilization of the low-Tc junction and integrated-circuit processes that are reliable for the low-Tc electronics projects as well as for the single electron tunneling project. Technical work under way in magnetics reflects the excellent skills and talents of the individuals involved and the group's management. The group's scanned probe microscopy work is of high caliber, and efforts have been made to provide support and service to the storage industry near the locale of the Boulder Laboratories in Colorado. Planned expansion to cover the industry more broadly will enhance the group's visibility and vitality. The group's imaging of head fields and domain structures is on a par with that of other research groups. Work within EEEL should be focused, however, toward a goal that will solve a particular problem relevant to magnetics or storage, such as Barkhausen noise in thin film heads, or understanding of noise spectra of thin film media from domain wall structures. The group's work on giant magnetoresistive materials and structures is very good. However, there may be issues more relevant to magnetoresistive heads in the near term, such as biasing, stability, and electrical damage. The group is uniquely positioned to be a center of competence for all storage-related work in the federal government. This would provide important technical leadership to the other NIST laboratories and a focal point for other agencies involved with the storage community such as the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, the Advanced Research Projects Agency, and DOD. It may also reduce some duplication of effort and provide better utilization of resources. Many of the support or “fire-fighting” tasks the group has performed for government and industry are of great value. Better documentation of these specific projects in the group's annual report and plans would be beneficial. Recommendations The following are the panel's recommendations for the Cryoelectronic Metrology and Superconductivity and Magnetics Division. The new Cryoelectronic Metrology and Superconductivity and Magnetics Division should have one mission and strategy statement that is well understood by all staff. This should focus work on fewer, key projects and lead to stable staffing for those projects. Resources in superconductivity should be limited, though the group's many technical successes in that area tend to spawn ever-spreading activities.

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An Assessment of the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY PROGRAMS: Fiscal Year 1994 The single-electron tunneling activity needs to switch from competence-building funding to stable core funding. Funding and staffing for this project should be stabilized at an adequate level and this project made a core component of any NIST-wide activity in this area. With the development of superconducting materials and instruments that operate without a liquid cryogen, such as the Nb3Sn magnetic resonance imaging device recently announced by a major U.S. corporation, there is an enormous need for techniques and procedures to give quality assurance in the 10 to 77 K range. New protocols and standards will be needed as more instruments are manufactured to operate in this temperature range. It is important that EEEL anticipate and adequately support the needs of the new division in this area. Work on high-Tc aterials and processing should be focused on specific processes and device structures related to the division's core mission. More genetic activity should be deemphasized, since it is less likely to have an impact and will greatly dilute resources. The division should obtain a sample preparation apparatus, or convert an existing one, for dedication to magnetics. The division should decide if storage-oriented work should be expanded according to its fiscal year 1992 plans; if not, it should be discontinued. If continued, this program should (1) become a recognized center of competence in magnetic recording, following the example of the superconductivity group; (2) pick one area in storage, perhaps heads, and become intimately familiar with process steps, metrology requirements, and technical challenges (Barkhausen noise detection and measurements, electrostatic damage in magnetic recording heads, biasing, and so on); (3) establish a regular seminar series in magnetics with recognized experts as speakers; (4) become a member of and interact strongly with industrial storage standards committees such as the American National Standards Institute to become more familiar with metrology requirements in the industry; and (5) vigorously pursue participation in ATPs in data storage. Cryoelectronic Metrology and Superconductivity and Magnetics Division Responses to Fiscal Year 1993 Recommendations Given below are some of the panel's fiscal year 1993 recommendations for the program in the new Cryoelectronic Metrology and Superconductivity and Magnetics Division (quoted from the fiscal year 1993 assessment), with the division's responses. “The atomic-force microscopy research should be located close to the magnetism and sample preparation facilities” (p. 57). NIST has been given funding to construct the buildings needed to maintain its present program into the next century. Until the new facilities are completed, management and staff must work together to use inadequate space in the best ways possible. “The Cryoelectronic Metrology Group should continue its correct competence building project under core funding. A second permanent staff position should be added, and the two

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An Assessment of the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY PROGRAMS: Fiscal Year 1994 postdoctoral fellowships should be continued” (p. 56). The presumption of the NIST competence program is that successful competence projects are continued by the division using its available funding. Thus, a competence project carries with it the requirement that the division grow or reprogram its work and is part of NIST's system to assure turnover of projects. The division intends to continue this successful program. Because the competence project requires continued funding from the division, EEEL generally attempts to transfer staff from other projects to complete the work rather than hiring additional staff. “The Cryogelectronic Metrology Group should emphasize demonstrations and applications of cryoelectronics designed for optimum performance at liquid-nitrogen temperature. However, because of staffing constraints, the group should probably set priorities for the use of the group 's unique talents” (p. 56). The division is actively developing applications of high-temperature superconductivity. Advances since the fiscal year 1993 assessment include the fabrication of step-edge Josephson junctions, demonstration of a tunable 5-GHz resonator, and demonstration of the phase locking of junctions at 1.06 THz. During fiscal year 1994, the division expects to develop additional microwave components, microbolometers, and arrays of Josephson junctions. “The Superconductor and Magnetic Measurements Group should focus on quantitative measurements of stray magnetic fields arising from bit recording and magnetic recording heads. Furthermore, the group should acquire a spinstand, i.e., a magnetic recording system, that can record any desired bit pattern ranging from isolated bits to complicated patterns” (p. 58). The division is continuing its work in the development of scanned probe microscopy to measure magnetic fields on the nanometer scale. During fiscal year 1993, the staff worked with a local company to evaluate their spinstands. Preliminary results suggest that commercial spinstands do not have sufficient versatility to be effective in the NIST program. The division has initiated a program to develop and construct a more versatile instrument based on the spinstand concept. Office of Microelectronics Programs The panel found the Office of Microelectronics Programs (OMP) to be strategically linked to related industries through ties to the SIA, especially in support of SIA Roadmap. OMP is very effective in placing its funds across NIST laboratories in support of key industry needs. Significant increases in planned funding are in keeping with national need. Projects currently under way with OMP participation or sponsorship are well chosen, and the National Center for Semiconductor Metrology (funded at the $25 million level) appears to be well structured and appropriate. The panel is concerned that a smooth transition be made from the present level of activity to the expanded levels anticipated for the future. Given the past performance of OMP and its close working relationships with industry and all NIST laboratories, the panel judged that the likelihood of success will be high as work expands.

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An Assessment of the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY PROGRAMS: Fiscal Year 1994 Office of Law Enforcement Standards The Office of Law Enforcement Standards is closely linked to the law enforcement customers it serves, and the recent execution of a stable, long-term relationship with the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) has provided needed assurance of ongoing support. The staff of the office does good work in the variety of areas in which customers have sought support. The office continues to serve as a unique leader in many key areas and serves as a national asset to the law enforcement community. The previous leader's retirement has been handled smoothly, although the elevation of a key technical contributor into the management position has resulted in loss of technical competence that needs to be replaced as soon as possible. Now that uncertainties about NIJ funding have been resolved, there is a need for funding for maintenance and renovation of the office 's test and storage facilities.

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