Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Development of Traceable Small Force Standards



Gordon A. Shaw, Jon R. Pratt


Although instrumented indentation and atomic forcve microscope (AFM) are utilized extensively for the measurement of forces in the piconewton to millinewton regime, accurate calibration of these forces remains an obstacle to quantitative research. Deadweight mass calibration artifacts available from NIST allow for SI-traceable measurement of forces as small as five micronewtons with an uncertainty of parts in 104, but there is currently no method for calibration of forces smaller than this. Work a the Small Force Measurement Laboratory (SFML) at NIST is aimed at measuring and disseminating SI-treaceable force standards in the piconewton to micronewton regime. Efforts in the calibration of instrumented indenters and AFM cantilevers will be discussed, as will methods for disseminating these NIST-traceable small force standards.
Conference Dates
June 7-9, 2005
Conference Location
Portland, OR
Conference Title
Society for Experimental Mechanics Annual Meeting


AFM, indentation, materials science, mechanical testing, nanotechnology


Shaw, G. and Pratt, J. (2005), Development of Traceable Small Force Standards, Society for Experimental Mechanics Annual Meeting, Portland, OR (Accessed May 18, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created June 1, 2005, Updated February 19, 2017