NIST SRM Aids Efforts
to Reduce Cigarette Fire Risk
are the single largest igniters of fatal fires in the United States.
Each year these fires cause about 700 to 800 deaths, 1,700 serious
injuries and $400 million in direct property damage, according
to the National Fire Protection Association. Several states, as
well as Canada, have moved to reduce this toll by requiring that
all cigarettes sold in their jurisdictions meet a new standard
for low risk of igniting household furnishings. This month, the
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) released
Standard Reference Material (SRM) 1082 to help testing laboratories
and cigarette manufacturers make accurate measurements required
by the new regulations. The SRM consists of 10 packs of uniform
cigarettes especially produced with the required low risk of ignition.
in New York, California, Vermont and Canada all use an ASTM standard,*
which was originally developed by NIST as part of the Fire Safe
Cigarette Act of 1990. All have adopted the 2004 New York State
pass/fail criterion that no more than 25 percent of 40 tested
cigarettes burn their full length when placed on 10 layers of
standard filter paper.
SRM 1082 at the request of cigarette companies, the New York State
Office of Fire Prevention and Control (OFPC), and Health Canada.
Extensive testing by NIST, the National Research Council of Canada
and Kidde-Fenwal Inc. established that SRM 1082, manufactured
for NIST by Philip Morris USA, is compatible with the New York
State pass/fail criterion.
regulations adopted in New York, California and Vermont
require that no more than 25 percent of 40 cigarettes tested
burn their full length when placed on 10 layers of standard
a high resolution version of this image.
20 laboratories are or will be performing testing of commercial
cigarettes for compliance using the ASTM standard. Comparative
measurements between SRM 1082 and commercial cigarettes should
enable testing laboratories to assure clients that their measurements
are accurate and do not vary over time. Cigarette companies also
are expected to use the SRM to check their products’ ignition
properties prior to certification testing. More information about
SRM 1082, including purchase data, can be found at https://srmors.nist.gov/view_detail.cfm?srm=1082.
E2187-04, “Standard Test Method for Measuring the Ignition
Strength of a Cigarette.”
Budget Request Spotlights Innovation
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is slated
for $535 million for its core funding (laboratory research and
facility upgrades) under President George W. Bush’s American
Competitiveness Initiative (ACI), according to the FY 2007 budget
request submitted to the Congress on Feb. 6, 2006.
If the requested
amount is approved by Congress, the additional $104 million for
NIST’s core funding—a more than 24 percent increase—will
be the largest increase ever for the agency’s laboratory
is positioned to play a key role in advancing our nation’s
innovation and competitiveness,” said NIST Director William
Jeffrey. “The research initiatives in this budget reflect
that and will strongly support the President’s competitiveness
$535 million in NIST core funding includes:
million for Scientific and Technical Research and Services,
including $459.4 million for NIST’s laboratory research
and $7.6 million for the Baldrige National Quality Program.
This category includes a major research initiative with 12 main
components, including projects in nanotechnology, neutron research,
hydrogen research, supply chain integration, quantum information
science, structural safety, synchrotron measurement science
and technology, international standards and innovation, measurement
science, bioimaging, cyber security and biometrics.
- $68 million
for Construction of Research Facilities (CRF), including upgrades
for the NIST Center for Neutron Research as well as for safety,
maintenance, repair, and additional facilities upgrades.
$46.3 million was requested for Industrial Technology Services
(ITS) to fund the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership
program. This is a reduction of $58.3 million from the FY 2006
level made in order to address the nation’s most pressing
needs in an austere fiscal environment. No
FY 2007 funds were requested for the Advanced Technology Program.
FY 2006 appropriations and estimated recoveries will be sufficient
to meet all existing obligations and to phase out the program.
funding requested for NIST is $581.3 million.
increase in the NIST core funding for FY 2007 is one of the first
steps toward meeting the goals of the ACI announced by the President
in his State of the Union address on Jan. 31, 2006. The centerpiece
of the ACI is a $50 billion investment to double over the next
10 years the funding for three key federal agencies that support
basic research programs in the physical sciences and engineering—the
National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy's Office
of Science, and NIST.
For more information, see www.nist.gov/public_affairs/releases/budget_proposal_aci.htm.
Method May Help Optimize Light-emitting Semiconductors
do you see in these Rorschach-blot-like images? JILA
physicists see the once-hidden electronic behavior
of semiconductors. The
computer plots show how energy intensity (ranging
from low in blue to high in red) varies as electronic
structures called excitons absorb
laser light and emit energy at various frequencies.
The pair of similar "butterflies" indicates
that an exciton is absorbing and emitting energy in
a predictable pattern.
a high resolution version of this image.
at JILA have demonstrated an ultrafast laser technique for
"seeing" once-hidden electronic behavior in semiconductors,
which eventually could be useful in more predictable design
of optoelectronic devices, including semiconductor lasers
and white light-emitting diodes. The work at JILA, a joint
institute of the National Institute of Standards and Technology
and the University of Colorado at Boulder, is described
in the Feb. 10 issue of Physical Review Letters.*
technique manipulates light energy and wave patterns to
reveal subtle behavior, such as correlated oscillations
of two objects. Such correlations are important because
they may allow researchers to more accurately predict the
emission frequencies produced by an optoelectronic device
based on its structure and semiconductor materials.
method was developed originally by other researchers years
ago for probing couplings between spinning nuclei as an
indicator of molecular structure, and it led to a Nobel
prize; more recently, scientists have been trying to use
it to study vibrations in chemical bonds. The JILA team
is the first to show the approach offers new insights into
electronic properties of semiconductors. The use of light
as a precision tool to manage electronic behavior could
lead to improved optoelectronic devices.
the JILA technique, a sample made of thin layers of gallium
arsenide is hit with a continuous series of three near-infrared
laser pulses lasting just 100 femtoseconds each. Trillions
of electronic structures called excitons are formed. They
consist of “excited” electrons and the "holes"
they leave behind as they jump to higher energy vibration
patterns. By changing the timing of the laser pulses and
analyzing the wave patterns of the light and exciton oscillations,
the JILA scientists figured out how to produce and identify
correlations between absorption and emission of light from
the material. The presence or absence of correlations can
be seen in a computer plot of the frequency and wave pattern
of the absorbed and emitted light. Correlations are revealed
as a pair of similar butterfly-shaped plots (see graphic).
research is supported in part by the Department of Energy.
Li, T. Zhang, C.N. Borca and S.T. Cundiff. 2006. Many-body
interactions in semiconductors probed by optical two-dimensional
Fourier transform spectroscopy. Physical Review Letters.
Meeting to Focus on Emerging Networks
in today’s fast-moving telecommunications industry is all
about convergence. The “next big thing” are the so-called
Next Generation Networks (NGN). The idea behind NGN is to seamlessly
transition the current public telephone network used for transporting
telephone conversations, faxes, and data to the technology behind
the Internet, the public data network used for sending e-mail
and other data-based telecommunications.
Workshop on Synchronization in Telecommunication Systems, sponsored
by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and
the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS),
will address issues likely to emerge as NGNs are developed. The
three-day workshop will be held March 14-16, 2006, at the Omni
Interlocken Resort in Broomfield, Colo.
also will include tutorial presentations and networking opportunities
for telecommunications synchronization professionals at a variety
of different career levels. Network operators, strategists, design
engineers, system architects and synchronization planners from
the wireline, wireless, enterprise and utilities sectors will
participate in interactive workshop sessions and panel discussions.
information, see http://tf.nist.gov/timefreq/seminars/ATIS.html.
Tracks Implementation of Trade Center Suggestions
Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has implemented a
Web-based system (http://wtc.nist.gov/recommendations/recommendations.htm)
so that the public can track the progress toward implementing
the recommendations from the agency's building and fire safety
investigation of the World Trade Center disaster. For each of
the 30 recommendations issued in October 2005, the Web site lists
the specific organization or organizations (e.g., standards and
code developers, professional groups, state and local authorities)
responsible for implementation, the status of the implementation
effort, and the remaining plans or work in progress toward implementation.
The Web site is current as of Jan. 31, 2006, and will be updated
from time to time to report progress.
Small Manufacturers Do Business with Government
A new Memorandum
of Understanding aimed at helping small manufacturers better understand
how to do business with federal, state and local governments was
signed on Feb. 13, 2006, by Roger Kilmer, director of the National
Institute of Standards and Technology’s Hollings Manufacturing
Extension Partnership (MEP), and Rebecca Peterson, president of
the Association for Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (APTAC).
As part of the agreement, MEP centers nationwide will have the
opportunity to refer interested clients to the local Procurement
Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) for training and counseling
on government contracting, including bid and proposal preparation
and government procurement policies, and PTAC will have the opportunity
to refer manufacturing customers to MEP centers for technical
by the Defense Department’s Defense Logistics Agency, the
nationwide network of 93 PTACs provide a wide range of assistance
covering all phases of government contracting. MEP is a nationwide
network of resources transforming manufacturers to compete globally,
supporting greater supply chain integration, and providing access
to technology for improved productivity. For more information
on MEP and PTACs, see www.mep.nist.gov
Elected to Engineering Academy
Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) metallurgist William
J. Boettinger has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering
(NAE), an honor recognizing research accomplishments that have
improved the design and processing of materials, from aerospace
alloys to lead-free solders for microelectronics.
A NIST fellow,
Boettinger has written more than 100 articles published in technical
journals and books, and he is among the world’s most highly
cited researchers in the field of materials science.
in the field of solidification, the process by which liquid metals
harden, Boettinger has developed models that are used to predict
the type and arrangement of micrometer-scale structures that form
as materials cool and solidify. This predictive capability makes
it possible to optimize processing methods so that the desired
microstructure and, as a result, physical properties such as strength
or toughness are achieved.
earned his undergraduate and doctoral degrees from Johns Hopkins
University in Baltimore. He has received numerous awards and honors,
including two gold medals from the Commerce Department. The top
honor awarded by the department, a gold medal recognizes “breakthrough”
achievements that resolve long-standing problems, advance the
state of the art, or significantly impact the economy.
and retired NIST researchers are members of the prestigious NAE.
information see: http://www4.nationalacademies.org/news.nsf/isbn/02102006?OpenDocument.
Named Director of NIST’s MEP Program
Kilmer has been appointed director of the Hollings Manufacturing
Extension Partnership (MEP) program at the National Institute
of Standards and Technology (NIST). Since 1993, Kilmer has been
deputy director of MEP, responsible for internal operations, program
coordination and policy review of all MEP activities. Kilmer started
his career at NIST in 1974 in the Manufacturing Engineering Laboratory.
Prior to coming to MEP, he was deputy division chief of robot
systems, managing research programs involving real-time sensor-based
control of intelligent machines. Kilmer received the Department
of Commerce Silver Medal (1995) for leadership as the NIST MEP
liaison to the interagency Technology Reinvestment Project initiative
and the Bronze Medal (1992) for leadership of NIST’s unmanned
ground vehicle robotics program. Kilmer holds a Master of Science
and a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from Pennsylvania
MEP is a
nationwide network of resources that helps smaller manufacturers
compete globally, supports greater supply chain integration and
provides access to technology for improved productivity. For more
information on MEP, see http://www.mep.nist.gov/bios/bios.htm.
Is New Head of NIST Materials Lab
Kayser, a chemist with diverse technical and managerial experience,
has been named director of the Materials Science and Engineering
Laboratory (MSEL) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology
(NIST). He succeeds Leslie Smith, who retired from NIST in November.
Kayser had been serving as the laboratory’s acting director.
veteran of NIST, Kayser joined the agency after earning his doctoral
degree in physical chemistry from Rice University. He conducted
research on the physics of fluids, including how changes in temperature,
pressure and chemical composition affect the properties of materials.
In 1999, after heading two divisions in the Chemical Science and
Technology Laboratory, Kayser was named director of Technology
Services, NIST’s outreach arm. The unit is responsible for
providing business support for NIST’s calibration services,
Standard Reference Materials and Standard Reference Data, as well
as other functions. Prior to his new position, Kayser had been
serving as NIST’s acting deputy director, responsible for
administration and day-to-day operations.
With an appropriation
of nearly $65 million in 2006, MSEL has major programs in metals,
polymers, ceramics and materials reliability. It also manages
the NIST Center for Neutron Research, a world-class user facility
for studies in materials and many other fields.
about MSEL, go to http://www.msel.nist.gov.