Metrological traceability can be understood as a chain of calibrations starting from the top level etalon (defining the quantity), through lower level etalons up to our device or sample. We are trying to develop methods for making all the nanoscale measurements traceable. As some of the methods described on these pages are still in the developement and quantitative measurements are problematic with them (e.g. Scanning Near Field Optical Microscopy), this is a long term task. On the other hand, it is practical to consider the traceability already when developing novel analytical methods or instruments.

The easiest measurments from the point of traceability are probably dimensional ones, like using scanning probe microscopy, namely if we use a specialised equipment [1]. As these devices are equiped by interferometers, large part of traceability problematics reduces only on traceability of lasers used in the interferometers.

In dimensional measurements by other (non-metrology) devices the situation is much more complicated and in most of the cases we need to develop special samples for making instruments traceable. Even more complicated is traceability in other physical quantitites measurements, like thermal conductivity or mechanical properties [2]. We try to focus on developement of both the instrumentation and reference samples for these purposes.

[1] J. Lazar, J. Hrabina, M. Šerý, P. Klapetek, O. Číp, Multiaxis interferometric displacement measurement for local probe microscopy, Central European Journal of Physics, 10 (2012) 225-231 [2] A. Campbellová, M. Valtr, J. Zůda, P. Klapetek, Traceable measurements of small forces and local mechanical properties, Meas. Sci. Technol 22 (2011)

(c) CMI 2012


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Atomic steps on Si


Department of nanometrology and technical length
Czech Metrology Institute
Okružní 31, 638 00 Brno