U.S. Naval Research Laboratory
The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory's Institute for Nanoscience (founded 2001) conducts multidisciplinary research at the intersections of materials, electronics and biology.NRL also has a nanoscale measurement program underway which scientists hope will advance the science of vibratory measurement for sub-micron mechanical systems. The objective of the Institute's programs is to provide the Navy and the DoD with scientific leadership in this complex, emerging area and to identify opportunities for advances in future Defense technology.
The Institute for Nanoscience is seen as the venue to bring together expertise from different disciplines in order to identify and exploit those cross-disciplinary opportunities which had not been previously accessible. As such, it will host scientists from other institutions for both short-term visits and long-term visits. Collaborative interest has already been expressed by leading academic institutions both here and abroad. The institute will maintain a strong postdoctoral program and provide an active colloquium series.
NRL's NANOSCALE MEASUREMENT TECHNIQUES PROJECT
The overall goal of this research is to significantly advance the science of vibratory measurement for sub-micron mechanical systems. The dynamic characterization of such mechanical and biological systems are a major challenge due to the small length scales involved (which are typically below conventional diffraction-limited optical systems) and the high frequencies (~1GHz) associated with the normal modes of these systems.
NRL expects to significantly advance the state-of-the-art in this area by providing the scientific community with a radically advanced measurement capability for studies that include high frequency and high performance Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS), Nanoelectromechanical (NEMS) devices, other specialized nanomechanical systems, such as carbon nanotubes, and biological systems.
GOALS AND BENEFITS
NRL calls the payoff for this research "significant," explaining that a significant advance in the science of vibration measurement of sub-micron scale components "will provide the promise of revolutionary new solutions to traditional Navy and national technical challenges in a number of areas." These areas include: pressure, temperature, EM, and acceleration sensors, which are cheap, highly integrated into electronic substrates, are only nanometers in size, and have miniscule energy consumption. They hold out the possibility for nanometer scale analog processors, such as radio-frequency (RF) signal processor arrays, and may ultimately provide highly stable nanoscale information storage. This research will help provide new measurement tools to study many of the critical parameters of these systems.
The Naval Research Laboratory is a secure facility that does not allow unescorted guests.