The need for metrology in nanotechnology
The continuous miniaturization in manufacturing technologies now allows fabrication of nano-sized samples as well as nanoscale precision and nanoscale features. This progress is achieved by a variety of techniques such as precision engineering, beam sputtering, and photolithography as well as molecular manipulation. Nano-technology products are now found in pharmaceutical industry, microelectronics, and in precision engineering.
Nano-technology is not only a simple continuation of micro technology. It marks the ultimate end of materials science, namely the dimensions where materials properties stop and molecular properties start. One can also say that nano-technology is where molecular features and materials meet. However, the relevance of molecular features is often implicitly. Whereas the study of DNA is obviously related to nano-technology, the “nano”-aspects of sheet metal for its paintability, and the “nano”- aspects of a honed car-engine cylinder easily escaped the uninitiated eye. Nevertheless the two latter examples have been projects within measurement and testing under previous framework programmes.