NIST Tours: Advanced Measurement Laboratory (AML) 

Friday, August 18, 2017   
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The Advanced Measurement Laboratory (AML) offers an unprecedented combination of features designed to virtually eliminate environmental interference's that undermine research at the very tip of the leading edge of measurement science and technology.  Accomplishments at the AML will translate into new high-accuracy measurement technologies, databases on the fundamental properties of “nano-structured” materials, and other essential supporting tools and capabilities. U.S. industry and its university and government partners require these infrastructural technologies if they are to succeed fully in scaling today’s feats of molecular science and engineering into nanotechnology products and processes for domestic and international markets. Practical benefits will flow to diverse industries and areas of need—from environmental protection to homeland security to biotechnology.


Title: Atomic Scale Quantum Nanoelectronics Laboratory
Description: You will visit the Atomic Scale Quantum Nanoelectronics Laboratory. It is a unique facility for measuring the quantum electronic properties of nanostructures and devices using a cryogenic/high magnetic field scanning probe microscopy system operating at milli-Kelvin temperatures. Novel metal and III-V semiconductor structures can be fabricated with MBE growth facilities and transferred in vacuum into a scanning probe microscopy system where novel microscopies based on quantum tunneling and force microscopy can be performed. As materials and devices are reduced to nanometer scales, the electron energy levels become quantized, leading to a range of new physical phenomena. Measurements that can separate these levels with high spatial and energy resolution are required to understand and exploit such systems for future electronics, quantum information technologies, and nanomanufacturing.

Title: The CNST NanoFab

Description: The CNST's shared-use NanoFab gives researchers economical access to and training on a commercial state-of-the-art tool set required for cutting-edge nanotechnology development and get help from a dedicated, full-time technical support staff. Capabilities include advanced capabilities for lithography, thin-film deposition, and nanostructure characterization. The simple application process is designed to get projects started in a few weeks. Title: Nanophotonics Laboratory Description: CNST’s Nanophotonics Laboratory contains a variety of customized near-field and far-field optical measurement setups for characterizing nanofabricated photonic devices. These devices use strong field confinement and low optical loss to enhance light-matter interactions, such as nonlinear wave mixing and acousto-optic coupling, and are being developed for applications in time and frequency metrology, communications, and quantum information science.

Title: Additive Manufacturing Metrology Testbed
Description: Additive Manufacturing Metrology Testbed developed jointly by EL and PML, is an open research platform designed to gain a better scientific understanding of metal additive manufacturing processes and to provide measurement science solutions to challenging technical problems associated with those processes. AMMT capabilities that will be demonstrated include: metal powder handling and spreading; high-speed, high-power laser scanning for layer-wise melting; a unique in-line optical imaging for process monitoring; and an open and flexible control system for testing and implementing future process control strategies and algorithms unobtainable in commercial instruments

Title: Additive Manufacturing Metrology Test Bed (AMMT)/Temperature & Emittance of Melts, Powders, and Solids (TEMPS)
Description: The Additive Manufacturing Testbed (AMMT) Laboratory, a product of a collaborative effort of NIST’s Physical Measurement and Engineering Laboratories, contains an in-house designed and manufactured laser-based powder-bed fusion (LPBF) system. The AMMT is an open platform system which allows for complete control of the powder-bed fusion process as well as unprecedented access to the build process. Such access allows monitoring of the build process and the study of the effect of varying process parameters that are normally inaccessible in commercial LPBF systems. The Temperature and emissivity of Metals, Powders, and Solids (TEMPS) system resides as part of the AMMT and provides a means for temperature and emissivity measurements of the laser/powder interaction region to further characterize the LPBF process as well as to provide traceability for the data generated by the AMMT for use in process modeling and simulation.


Title: The NIST Magnetic Suspension Mass Comparator (MSMC)
Description: The MSMC was designed and developed at NIST to fill a critical need in the dissemination of the unit of mass, the kilogram, after it is formally redefined in terms of the Planck constant in 2018. Within the redefined SI system of units, the kilogram will be realized in a vacuum environment, though it will still need to be disseminated to stakeholders in the U.S. Measurement System who measure mass in atmospheric pressure air. The MSMC bridges the gap between vacuum realization and air dissemination using a magnetic suspension technique in a high accuracy mass comparator that can compare an artifact in vacuum directly to an artifact in air. This system is unique to NIST, and allows a direct measurement of the effects of atmospheric air adsorption on mass standards that is independent of the material properties of the mass standard and does not rely on any empirical corrections derived from separate experiments.

Title: NIST Force Metrology Laboratory

Description: NIST Force Metrology Laboratory realizes SI-traceable dynamic and static forces through the direct use of base units such as mass, length, time, temperature. The SI unit of force, the newton (N), is considered to be an SI-derived unit which itself is further dependent upon using SI-derived measurements for determining densities of the mass material, density of the ambient atmosphere, and the local acceleration of gravity; these parameters affect the forces realized by the stainless-steel masses used throughout the labs. The dynamic force lab will highlight the method of realizing and measuring those forces; the static force lab will highlight the recently refurbished 4.45 MN (one million lbf) machine and many other aspects of SI-traceability of force measurements.

Title: Dimensional Metrology

Description: The Dimensional Metrology Group (DMG) performs calibrations of high-value, customer-supplied artifacts. Many of the calibrations are on standard metrology artifacts like master spheres, gauge blocks and step and ring gauges. We also perform calibrations on unique master parts and fixtures for high-value industrial and research components. For these measurements, the DMG uses the most accurate CMM in the world, the Moore model M48. This tour will be a visit of the Moore CMM laboratory where we will provide examples of some of the unique and best-in-the-world dimensional measurements we provide.


Title: ITS-90 Fixed-Point Calibration Laboratory
Description: In this laboratory NIST calibrates Standard Platinum Resistance Thermometers (SPRTs) as the primary route for the lowest uncertainty dissemination of the International Temperature Scale of 1990 for the temperature range from 13.8 K to 1235 K. NIST also certifies ITS-90 fixed-point cells falling in the range from 83.8058 K to 1234.93 K. Title: Piston Gauge Pressure Calibration Laboratory Description: This laboratory is responsible for calibrating submitted pressure gauges and related pressure measurement devices such as barometers and manometers against NIST piston gauge standards. Both gas and oil media are available, with gas measurements provided from 10 kPa to 104 MPa and oil measurements provided from 1 MPa to 280 MPa.

Title: Photometry Laboratory
Description: The Photometry Laboratory provides calibrations of various attributes of standard incandescent, fluorescent, and LED-based light sources. Such measurements include luminous intensity, luminous flux, and color temperature. The laboratory also offers proficiency testing for measurements of LED-based lighting products in support of laboratory accreditation.

Title: NIST Fluid Metrology 
Description: The Fluid Metrology Group performs calibrations and research for flow and related quantities: liquid flow, gas flow, air speed, liquid volume, and liquid density. The tour will show the reference standards used to measure these quantities, including gravimetric liquid flow standards, pressure-volume-temperature and time (PVTt) gas flow standards, and NIST’s wind tunnel. We will also describe research to improve flow meters, particularly those used to perform inter-laboratory comparisons and validate uncertainty specifications.

Title: New Photonics-Based Pressure Primary Standard
Description: The tour of the NIST pressure lab will provide the visitors an opportunity to see the NIST pressure standard which provides the US with the lowest stated uncertainty in the world. This state of the art facility will highlight NIST’s capabilities for measurement of thermodynamic quantities and research into improving measurements using optical techniques. Visitors will get a chance to see the new photonic pressure standard that is revolutionizing how we measure pressure and learn how the physics of pressure measurement (and traceability) are changing.


Title: OHM Laboratory
Description: The OHM laboratory, 218/F013, is home to the nation’s references for electrical resistance, which underpin measurements of many quantities, ranging from particle counters (current across a very large resistor) to the power produced by a hydroelectric facility (current across a very small resistor). To meet the needs of this broad application space, spanning 20 orders of magnitude, banks of resistors are maintained at NIST in a variety of temperature stabilized air and oil baths, all of which can be connected using an array of technologies to the ultimate reference, a quantum Hall resistance standard.

Title: Watt Balance
Description: The watt balance laboratory, 218/E022, houses one of the most precise and accurate instruments on the face of the earth, the NIST 4 Kibble (watt) Balance. This is the tool NIST is employing to measure the Planck constant. This amazing instrument combines ancient technologies, such as a lever and fulcrum which form its balance mechanism, with the most modern and sophisticated quantum measurement techniques, all in an attempt to accurately measure the fundamental constant of quantum mechanics in terms of the last artifact standard of the International System of Units, the Kilogram. Ultimately, the instrument is a new means to realize mass, and will effectively become the US National standard of mass if the proposed revision of the SI takes place in 2018.

Title: Magnetic Levitation Vacuum Mass Comparator
Description: The Magnetic Levitation Vacuum Mass Comparator, 218/E011, is an exciting new tool developed by NIST to transfer the unit of mass from vacuum to air. In a redefined SI, NIST will realize primary mass standards on the NIST 4 Kibble balance, measured in vacuum. Using the vacuum Mass Transport Vehicle, these primary masses will leave the NIST 4 Balance through a load lock to dock with the Magnetic Levitation Vacuum Mass comparator. Here they will be transferred to a vacuum mass comparator that has the unique capability to weigh objects both inside and outside its vacuum chamber. The ingenious system uses magnetic levitating forces to couple it’s weighing pan to a second pan located on the outside of the vacuum chamber. In this way, it is possible to compare the primary mass, which never leaves vacuum, to an artifact which never leaves air.


Title: The Net-Zero Energy House
Description: The Net-Zero Energy House is built to look and function like a typical suburban Maryland house, the Net-Zero Energy Residential Test Facility (NZERTF) is used to test new and existing energy-efficient technologies as well as to develop test methods that better reflect how those technologies will perform in a real home. The overall goal is to demonstrate that a net-zero energy house—one that produces as much energy as it consumes over the course of a year—can fit into any neighborhood.

Title: The National Fire Research Laboratory
Description: The National Fire Research Laboratory is a world class large-scale fire laboratory to conduct experiments that provide the scientific basis for the development of fire safety standards and building codes, support fire investigations and validate advanced computational fire models used by engineers for building design.

Title: Smartgrid Testbed Facility

Description: Smartgrid Testbed Facility is a brand new suite of laboratories at NIST that aims to demonstrate future electrical grid concepts by creating a real, functioning microgrid that incorporates power conditioning systems, battery storage systems, and high power inverters, along with software-generated inputs to mimic connections to and disturbances both within microgrids and from the broader grid. These tools can be used to research challenges facing the nation’s electric grid, such as the control and integration of renewable energy resources. The laboratory is designed to be agile, to accommodate a wide range of experimental and testing configurations.