Most content on the NIST web site is "tagged" with a research area or other program topic. Below are the top-level topic areas. Each topic links to a landing page where you can find out more about what NIST is doing in that research or programmatic area.


Advanced communications

NIST promotes the development and deployment of advanced communications technologies by advancing the measurement science underlying wireless technologies.
A fluorescent microscope image of NIH 3T3 fibroblast cells


NIST provides measurement assurance through the development of quantitative analytical measurement tools to aid industry in the deployment of innovative biotechnologies and advanced biomaterials.
PECASE winner Tara Lovestead at Work


NIST develops the technology, measurement methods and standards to address the needs of the chemical industry.
Computer scientist Murugiah Souppaya investigates security techniques for protecting virtuallized computing environments and cloud computing systems.


NIST implements practical cybersecurity and privacy through outreach and effective application of standards and best practices necessary for the U.S. to adopt cybersecurity capabilities.
fake wrist


NIST provides the standards, develops the instruments and performs the calibrations necessary to keep both the smallest electronic components and the largest power grids running smoothly and safely.
The first 10 miles of the McNary - John Day Transmission Line


NIST develops the testing, measurements, and reference materials needed to ensure the quality of energy-related products and services and ensure fairness in the marketplace.
GHG Measurement Program


NIST is helping to advance measurements and tools for environmental science.
Waldo Canyon wildland


NIST's fire research develops, verifies and utilizes measurements and predictive methods to quantify the behavior of fire and means to reduce its impact.
Odor Detection with An Artificial Dog Nose

Forensic Science

Bringing together experts from the forensic, research, legal, and law enforcement communities to strengthen forensic science and create a safer, more just society.
black background. Bright blue t-cell


NIST provides measurement assurance for biomedical stakeholders through the development of measurement tools for medical devices, clinical diagnostics, imaging tools and the characterization of...
IT door illustration

Information Technology

NIST advances the state-of-the-art in IT in such applications as cybersecurity and biometrics.
Smithfield Bridge


Since its founding, NIST has supported safety, interoperability, and resilience of the Nation’s core infrastructure, including power, transport, water and waste, and telecommunications.
Screenshot from an animation in a video about the Digital Thread


NIST provides technical support to the nation's manufacturing industry as they strive to out-innovate and outperform the competition.
Examples of the silk used in experiments to detect damage in composites, shown under black light.


NIST develops testbeds, defines benchmarks and develops formability measurements and models for a variety of emerging materials.
DLMF illustration

Mathematics & Statistics

NIST researchers use the latest mathematics approaches and computational methods to help tackle some of the most difficult scientific, technical and engineering problems and tasks.
Graphene-capped Liquids


From leading cutting-edge research to coordinating standards development, NIST's nanotechnology programs directly impact priorities important to the nation's economy and well being.
Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award medallion with Award recipients photos in background.

Performance excellence

The Baldrige Performance Excellence Program offers criteria, assessments, tools, training and a community for those dedicated to helping organizations improve.
Ytterbium Clock


NIST provides the measurements, standards, and technical expertise scientists and industries need to push the limits of the fundamental properties of nature.
PSCR Public Safety Division User Needs

Public safety

From helping to develop technologies that detect explosives and locate survivors in a collapsed building to video software that identifies criminals, NIST is working to keep people safe.
Homeowner looks at the Remain of His Neighborhood


NIST's resilience research focuses on the impact of hazards on buildings and communities and on post-disaster studies that provide the basis for improved standards, codes and practices.