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Nanoscale Reliability Group

The Nanoscale Reliability Group develops and disseminates science, standards, and technology for high-resolution measurements of material structure, chemistry, and physical properties, to ensure reliability of materials and devices with critical dimensions in the micrometer to nanometer regime.

The performance of advanced, reliable engineering materials requires that the proper atoms are in the correct place within the material, and that the material displays the properties we intend. Innovative metrologies are developed and demonstrated in the realms of electron, ion, and scanned probe microscopies, to identify and locate atomic species, and to determine physical responses of materials. Test structures, measurement methods, and in situ testing approaches are developed to measure performance of complex material systems and geometries with high spatial resolution, enabling new reliability physics to be applied to nanoscale structures for electronics, structural material, and energy applications. We integrate material characterization metrologies with material performance and reliability assessments. 

Recent Group Highlights

Callie Higgins, a Materials Research Engineer in the Nanoscale Reliability Group, has won the FY21 Service to America Emerging Leaders award for her work in ensuring the reliability of polymeric materials created by 3D printing and in early career staff advocacy. She is one of seven medal winners selected from across the entire Federal government. Read the NIST News Release here. Read and listen to her story from the Federal News Network here

News and Updates


NIST encourages patent protection on inventions when a patent would further the interests of U.S. manufacturing, increase the potential for current or future commercialization or use of the technology, would likely to lead to a license, would have a positive impact on a new field of science or technology and/or the visibility and vitality of NIST, or would further the goals of collaborative agreements.

Although patents are issued in the name of the inventor, the rights to inventions resulting from government work belong to the government. NIST's Technology Partnerships Office negotiates licensing of patented NIST technology.

Sample holder, detector mask, and scope system for analytical transmission scanning electron microscopy
9,970,859; 9,746,415

Imaging spectrometer for extreme ultraviolet atom probe tomography
10,153,144; 9,899,197

Electron vibrometer for atomic force microscopy

Projects and Programs

Electronic Material Characterization

To provide the necessary information for electronic material manufacturers to predict how and when failures will occur and enable lifetime analysis appropriate

Extreme Atom Probe Tomography

NIST is engaged in a joint effort between the Material Measurement Laboratory (MML) and the Physical Measurement Laboratory (PML) aimed at revolutionizing 3D

Nanotube Quality Control

Our goal is to develop new methods to rapidly screen bulk carbon nanotubes for chemical purity and homogeneity. The different synthesis routes used to produce

Photopolymer Additive Manufacturing

NIST's goal is to support innovation in the PAM industry by enabling unprecedented high-resolution , mechanically-precise vat photopolymerization via



Press Coverage

Group Staff

Primary Project
Benjamin Caplins (303) 497-6703 benjamin.caplins [at] (benjamin[dot]caplins[at]nist[dot]gov)

Extreme Atom Probe Tomography

Photopolymer Additive Manufacturing

Ann Chiaramonti Debay (303) 497-5701 chiaramonti [at] (chiaramonti[at]nist[dot]gov) Extreme Atom Probe Tomography
Jacob Garcia (303) 497-3976 jacob.garcia [at] (jacob[dot]garcia[at]nist[dot]gov)  Extreme Atom Probe Tomography
Callie Higgins (303) 497-5991 callie.higgins [at] (callie[dot]higgins[at]nist[dot]gov) Photopolymer Additive Manufacturing
Jason Holm (303) 497-4335 jason.holm [at] (jason[dot]holm[at]nist[dot]gov) Analytical Transmission Scanning Electron Microscopy
Bob Keller (303) 497-7651 bob.keller [at] (bob[dot]keller[at]nist[dot]gov)  
Jason Killgore (303) 497-4729 jason.killgore [at] (jason[dot]killgore[at]nist[dot]gov)

Scanned Probe Microscopy for Advanced Materials & Processes

Photopolymer Additive Manufacturing

Thomas Kolibaba (303) 497-5811 thomas.kolibaba [at] (thomas[dot]kolibaba[at]nist[dot]gov) Photopolymer Additive Manufacturing
Elisabeth Mansfield (303) 497-6405 elisabeth.mansfield [at] (elisabeth[dot]mansfield[at]nist[dot]gov) Electronic Material Characterization
Ryan White (303) 497-3938 ryan.white [at] (ryan[dot]white[at]nist[dot]gov)  



Group Leader