Nanometrology refers to measurement techniques that assess materials properties at the nanoscale. Laboratory-based characterisation of nanomaterials has been the key enabler in the growth of nanotechnology and nano-enabled products. Due to the small size involved, dimensional measurements has dominated such characterisation underpinned by a tremendous development in stand-alone electron/ion microscopes and scanning probe microscopes. However, the scope of nanometrology extends far beyond off-site, laboratory-based measurements of dimensions only, and is expected to have a tremendous impact on design of nano-enabled materials and devices. In this article, we discuss some of the available techniques for laboratory-based characterisation of mechanical and interfacial properties for nanometrology. We also provide a deep insight into the emerging techniques in measuring these properties, keeping in view the need in advanced manufacturing and nanobio-interactions to develop multifunctional instrumentation, traceable and standardized methods, and modelling tools for unambiguous data interpretation. We also discuss the evaluation of nanomechanical properties and surface/interface response of materials, within the purview of manufacturing processes and standardization. Finally, we discuss scientific and technological challenges that are required to move towards real-time nano-characterisation for rapid, reliable, repeatable and predictive metrology to underpin upscaling nanomaterials and nano-enabled products from the research field to industry and market.
Koumoulos, E.P., Tofail, S.A.M., Silien, C., De Felicis, D., Moscatelli, R., Dragatogiannis, D.A., et al. (2018). Metrology and nano-mechanical tests for nano-manufacturing and nano-bio interface: Challenges & future perspectives. MATERIALS & DESIGN, 137, 446-462 [10.1016/j.matdes.2017.10.035].