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Richard S. Gates (Fed)

Chemical Engineer


Figures 1,2,3
Figure 1(left): Microfabricated reference cantilever array for calibrating the spring constant of AFM cantilevers; Figure 2 (center): Microfabricating the array using deep reactive ion etching; Figure 3 (right) Nanoindenter calibration schematic for AFM cantilevers.

Research Interests

  • Nanoscale surface interactions and chemistry including nanotribology and tribochemistry
  • Scanning probe microscopy measurements and standards especially as it relates to atomic force microscopy
  • Microfabrication and the improvement of devices and artifacts for AFM calibration and method development



  • US Patent # 9,535,085 "Intermittent Contact Resonance Atomic Force Microscopy and Process for Intermittent Contact Resonance Atomic Force Microscopy," Inventors: Stan & Gates (2017)
  • US Patent # 6,207,627 “Oxygen-Containing Organic Compounds as Boundary Lubricants for Silicon Nitride Ceramics,” Inventors: Gates & Hsu (2001)
  • US Patent # 6,206,764 “Methods for Machining Hard Materials Using Alcohols,” Inventors: Hsu, Ying, Gu, Wang, & Gates (2001)
  • US Patent # 4,919,829 "Aluminum Hydroxides as Solid Lubricants," Inventors: Gates & Hsu (1990)


Standards Outputs

Previous Chairman of Versailles Advanced Materials and Standards (VAMAS) Technical working area 29 on Nanomechanics Applied to Scanning Probe Microscopy (SPM). VAMAS Report #49 (Mini round robin on AFM cantilever spring constant calibration) is available on the web at


Public Media Highlights


Microfabricated membrane image
Microfabricated composite membrane buckling under residual stress
Credit: Richard Gates / NIST


  • NIST Jacob Rabinow Applied Research Award (2015)
  • Nanotech Briefs Nano 50 Award (2008)
  • Outstanding Paper Award, Measurement Science and Technology Journal (2006)
  • Al Sonntag Best Paper Award, Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers (1991)
  • American Chemical Society Analytical Chemistry Award, Hobart College (1978)



Created August 15, 2019, Updated December 8, 2022