The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) has taken the lead in developing nanotechnology-based electronics standards that address materials, devices, and system level interoperability. This activity is part of a broader nanotechnology effort at the IEEE driven by the IEEE Nanotechnology Council (NTC), an interdisciplinary group whose members are drawn from 19 IEEE Societies.
Nanotechnology Standards at the IEEE
The IEEE is creating standards to facilitate the movement of nanotechnology innovations from a research to a market environment and to establish fundamental nanotechnology platforms that support accelerated growth of the sector. These standards address critical commercialization issues such as nanoelectronics device design and characterization, and quality and yield in high volume manufacturing. Overall, the IEEE Nanotechnology Standards Initiative seeks to identify:
Nanoelectronic technologies likely to generate products and services having high commercial and/or societal value.
Areas where new standards can aid rapid commercialization, technology transfer and diffusion into the market.
People and institutions to lead and support IEEE nanotechnology standards projects.
One such standard is IEEE P1650TM, "Standard Test Methods for Measurement of Electrical Properties of Carbon Nanotubes." When completed, this will be the first standard to define electrical testing procedures and to suggest characterization tools for carbon nanotubes. This uniform metrics foundation is intended to help accelerate the emergence of nanotube based devices in transistors and other nanoelectronic components.
Anticipatory Nanotechnology Standards at the IEEE
Nanotechnology has begun to benefit from an IEEE standards strategy that creates standards well before the products they concern are produced. Such anticipatory standards help drive early commercialization in emerging fields and promote acceptance among producers, users and the public. This strategy is typically implemented through the creation of a standing working group, which provides a forum to consider new standards projects, to guide the development of white papers into standards, and to revise existing standards. A notable example of the successful implementation of an anticipatory standards strategy is the IEEE 802TM working group, which has produced leading wired and wireless networking standards for almost 20 years.
The family of anticipatory nanotechnology standards, starting with IEEE P1650TM, will first focus on material characterization methods and equipment. Standards that concern device and component fabrication and testing, and systems architecture and interoperability will follow.
What is the IEEE-SA
The IEEE Standards Association is a leading global developer of standards that underpin many of today's essential technologies, such as telecommunications and computer software, as well as standards for emerging disruptive technologies. It has an active portfolio of nearly 900 completed standards and more than 400 in development.
Its standards, specifications and guides foster commercialization, interoperability, rapid design, easier installation and testing, and protect users and the environment. IEEE-SA working groups create consensus standards in as little as 10 to 12 months through an open process based on the input of all interested parties in industry, government and elsewhere.
The IEEE-SA draws on the expertise of the IEEE's 41 societies and councils and its 380,000 members in more than 110 countries. The IEEE-SA itself contains nearly 20,000 individual and corporate members who participate in standards activities.
The IEEE and Nanotechnology
The Nanotechnology Council was formed as a multidisciplinary group to advance and coordinate the many nanotechnology scientific, literary and educational endeavors within the IEEE. It has become a focal point in the field and is helping to unite the global nanotechnology community. The Council supports nanotechnology-related lectures, symposia and workshops, publishes the "IEEE Transactions on Nanotechnology" and other periodicals, and sponsors nanotechnology standards.
This year's IEEE nanotechnology conference in San Francisco in August was one of the industry's largest meetings ever held on the topic. It offered more than 300 papers and poster presentations, an increase of nearly 60 percent over the 2002 meeting, on such topics as nanoscale electronics, computing, data storage and materials. It also included a pavilion portraying commercial nanotechnology products and innovations.