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NIST Launches Collaborative Nanotechnology Research Center

New York, Mar 21, 2006

U.S. Department of Commerce (DoC) Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez announced yesterday plans to launch a center for collaborative nanotechnology research at the DoC’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology (CNST) will help U.S. scientists from industry, government, and universities advance nanotechnology research and development. The primary goal of CNST is to provide the measurement methods, instrumentation, and standards necessary to enable the commercialization of the emerging field’s numerous potential applications.

Nanotechnology refers to research at the atomic, molecular, and macromolecular levels. Nanoscale control over a material allows scientists to modify the material’s properties, thereby opening myriad technologies and applications. Expected to shape the future of all industries, nanotechnology has become one of the nation’s top priorities. Under the American Competitiveness Initiative, President George W. Bush increased funding to federal agencies leading scientific research and development, including $20 million for the 2007 fiscal year to support NIST’s nanotechnology efforts.

The center, which will give particular emphasis to nanoscale measurement and manufacturing, is to be based in NIST’s new Advanced Measurement Laboratory which offers meticulous control over environmental influences such as temperature and vibrations. A high-tech nanofabrication facility for manufacturing and testing nanoscale devices will be open to in-house and external scientists. The research arm of CNST will be comprised of specialists in chemistry, physics, computer science, and mechanical engineering.

CNST, Mr. Gutierrez said, will help the private sector develop a range of innovative products and technologies including high performing materials for the aircraft and automotive industry, smaller computer chips for digital devices, and high-efficiency batteries.

The center has already opened its in-house research programs in nanofabrication, scanning tunneling microscopy, nanomagnetics, and simulation and modeling of nanostructures in macroscopic environments. Additional research programs will be added throughout the next two years according to market need. The nanofab facility is expected to open its doors to outside researchers by late 2006.

Click here for more information about CNST and its facilities.

For information on ANSI's Nanotechnology Standards Panel (ANSI-NSP)visit, or contact Heather Benko, standards administrator (;212.642.4912).