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Nanoelectronic Device Metrology


The Nanoelectronic Device Metrology (NEDM) project is developing the measurement science infrastructure that will enable innovation and advanced manufacturing of emerging nanoelectronic information processing technologies – including those based upon new computational state variables – to more rapidly enter into the marketplace.

Christina Hacker characterizes the individual monolayers prior to flip-chip lamination using a Fourier transform spectrometer.

Figure 1. Christina Hacker characterizes the individual monolayers prior to flip-chip lamination using a Fourier transform infrared spectrometer.


The Nanoelectronic Device Metrology project conducts research to develop and advance the measurements needed to understand and evaluate properties of promising nanoelectronic technologies. This involves pioneering research in the area of molecular interfaces, condensed matter physics, alternate means of computing, and confined structures (graphene, 2D materials, nanowires, etc.). Particular emphasis is placed on novel measurements of chemical, physical, and electrical properties to fully interrogate nanoelectronic systems and provide the measurement foundation for advanced manufacturing of innovative future nanoelectronic devices. Core competencies include developing surface, electrical, and magnetic characterization approaches to accelerate the development and characterization of advanced nanoelectronic devices.

The NEDM project focuses on understanding the factors that govern charge transport in nanoelectronic devices. To do this, team members focus on novel measurement approaches such as investigating electronic devices at low-temperature or in the presence of a magnetic field. This work is an integral component to the condensed matter physics foundation needed for novel electronic materials (e.g., graphene) and alternate means of computing (e.g., spin) to become a manufactural reality.

The NEDM project has extensive expertise in molecular electronics foundations including the formation and characterization of molecular layers and fabrication and qualification of electrode-molecule-electrode junctions which feed into to a fundamental understanding of charge transport at molecular interfaces. This work has led to many technological advances on the nanoscale and has recently been applied to fabricate and understand the physics governing novel organic spintronic devices.

The NEDM aims to develop the required measurement infrastructure and scientific knowledge-base to address technology barriers and enable the successful development and subsequent manufacture of next-generation "Beyond CMOS technologies." To do this, the NEDM project supplements our core expertise with collaborations within the nanoelectronics group, across NIST, and with external technical leaders to conduct timely, impactful research.

Major Accomplishments:


  • A sophisticated suite of measurements was combined to understand the surface morphology effects where the metal contacts 2D materials (MoS2) to better understand the factors that limit device performance with novel materials.
  • A series of spectroscopic and electronic experiments to take advantage of the properties of organic monolayers on ferromagnetic materials to control the interface structure and modify spin-injection.


  • Summarized our expertise in fabricating and characterizing molecular junctions in an invited book chapter that details various approaches to make reliable contact to molecular layers and methods to successfully characterize fully formed junctions.
  • Interface Engineering To Control Magnetic Field Effects of Organic-Based Devices by Using a Molecular Self-Assembled Monolayer. (ACS Nano 2014 10.1021/nn502199z)


  • Applied extensive nanowire expertise to create novel topological insulator Bi2Se3 nanowire high performance field-effect transistors that open up a suite of potential applications in nanoelectronics and spintronics. (Nature Nanotechnology, Scientific Reports 3, 1757, April 2013.)
  • "Clean and Crackless" transfer method of graphene adopted as preferred fabrication approach for graphene nanoelectronics. (2011 ACS Nano "Highly Cited Paper" as designated by Web of Science)
Richter (left) and Jang (right) measuring the spin-valve effect of a device.
Figure 2. Richter (left) and Jang (right) measuring the spin-valve effect of a device.

End Date:


Lead Organizational Unit:



Being at the fore-front of nanoelectronic metrology with a deep knowledge and measurement infrastructure means we are often sought out. In addition, industry (particularity the NRI) enjoys working with us on pre-competitive research, taking advantage of our status as an impartial federal lab with sought-after expertise. Below is a snap-shot of recent interactions. (George Mason, University of Notre Dame, Wake Forest, Columbia, Purdue, Catholic University, University of Maryland, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Lawrence Livermore National Labs, Brookhaven, Oak Ridge National labs, etc.)

Facilities/Tools Used:

Specialized Equipment:

Because the NEDM focuses on advancing novel measurements, there is a lot of specialized equipment and expertise within the project. The expertise is grouped largely along the lines of the two major activities, engineered molecular interfaces and nanoelectronic device physics as described in more detail below. The project contains world-class expertise and tools including:

  • X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS)
  • Ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy (UPS)
  • Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR)
  • Surface free energy (contact angle)
  • Extensive ambient and inert environment sample prep space
  • Novel soft contact molecular junction techniques (E-GaIn, FCL)
  • Low-temperature magneto-transport metrology
  • Suite of specialized electrical test equipment
  • Novel fabrication of nanoelectronic devices (eg., CNST nanofab)

Other External Facilities: Metrology of nanoelectronic devices and materials relies on our effective partnering as well as our direct use (e.g., Dr. Pookpanratana) of specialized tools at external facilities. More recently this has included specialized measurements done at synchrotron facilities.


Christina Hacker, Project Leader
Sujitra Pookpanratana
Curt Richter


Hyuk-Jae Jang
Son Le
Joe Hagmann

Sujitra Pookpanratana applies the organic monolayers onto the gold and silicon surfaces using thiol chemistry and photochemical grafting.

Figure 3. Sujitra Pookpanratana applies the organic monolayers onto the gold and silicon surfaces using thiol chemistry and photochemical grafting.


Christina Hacker
301-975-2082 Telephone

100 Bureau Drive, M/S 8120
Gaithersburg, MD 20899