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.

Report of the Workshop on Reliability Issues in Nanomaterials



Robert Keller, David T. Read, Roop L. Mahajan


The Workshop on Reliability Issues in Nanomaterials was held at the Boulder Laboratories of the U. S. Department of Commerce on August 17-19, 2004. It was organized by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and was designed to promote a particular subset of NIST¿s responsibilities under the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI). The goal was to address two topics: identification of specific measurement-related barriers to successful incorporation of reliable nanomaterials into widespread engineering practice in the next 5 to 10 years; and identification of measurement methodologies, standards, data, and models that may be appropriate for overcoming these barriers. 34 participants, representing cutting-edge nanomechanics-related research and development in industry, academia, and national laboratories attended and contributed. Industrial, academic, and national laboratory consensus indicated that there is always a need to understand fundamental causes of failure. Such understanding should then lead to re-design that is more reliable, and to improved manufacturing. The goal of accurate performance and lifetime prediction for nanomaterials depends on the interplay between accurate materials testing and characterization, and reliability models incorporating valid measured data. Attendees agreed that while the synergy among industry, academia, and national laboratories was effective, more fundamental materials research is needed. It was suggested that NIST could serve the unique role of developing metrology, standards, and characterization methods for improving reliability of nanomaterials. The most challenging recommendation was the development of an ¿atom imager,¿ an hypothetical instrument capable of nondestructively measuring the chemical identity and precise 3-dimensional position of every atom within a nanomaterial. Nearer-term recommendations centered on improving the metrological performance of scanned probe microscopy and nanoindentation.
Special Publication (NIST SP) - 1043
Report Number


microtensile testing, nanoindentation, nanomaterials, nanomechanics, reliability, scanned probe microscopy, workshop


Keller, R. , Read, D. and Mahajan, R. (2007), Report of the Workshop on Reliability Issues in Nanomaterials, Special Publication (NIST SP), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed June 20, 2024)


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

Created December 31, 2006, Updated October 12, 2021