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I-STEM’s Library of Standards
Precise, repeatable, carefully made measurements are fundamental to advanced research in science and to the development of useful technology in most domains. It is especially so with thin film technology because, today, an increasing number of vital devices in common use – from laptop computers to smart phones to medical diagnostics to batteries and solar cells – depend on thin film layers very precisely fabricated using sophisticated and specialized equipment.
The films – of a wide variety of materials employed in technology today – are not only very thin, but feature morphologies and topologies that are complex and demand precision often on the nanometer scale. To ensure such precision and to be confident that measurements made in one’s laboratory are dependable, it is essential to employ traceable standards for measurement. Such standards help ascertain film thickness, “step heights” that are a part of thin film-based, lithographed devices, and the electrical and optical characteristics of films that certify thin film process repeatability.
I-STEM is the nation’s pioneering web portal for enabling efficient and transparent sharing of R&D facilities established around the country. To enhance scientific and technical collaboration among institutions in the country, public and private, academic and industrial, I-STEM adds another dimension to its endeavours by establishing Library of Measurement Standards and offering for them to used by academia and industry.
Although the Library presently has Standards relevant to thin film technology, it is proposed to add Standards relevant to other science and technology domains. Traceable standards are precious, delicate, and very expensive. To ensure their proper use and longevity, I-STEM is developing and will soon announce a protocol for providing access to the Standards Library for both academia and industry on a Pay-per-Use basis.