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Volumetric Scanning Microwave Microscopy Analytical and Research Tool for Nanotechnology

Final Report Summary - V-SMMART NANO (Volumetric Scanning Microwave Microscopy Analytical and Research Tool for Nanotechnology)

Executive Summary:
The V-SMMART Nano (Volumetric Scanning Microwave Microscope Analytical and Research Tool for Nanotechnology) project developed a new tool for subsurface analysis that is allowing the measurement of subsurface structures at the nanoscale to a limit never reached before. The consortium developed a 3D hybrid Scanning Probe Microscope platform (referred to as Volumetric Scanning Microwave Microscope – VSMM) able to probe the local reflection and transmission of microwaves from samples, and to reconstruct from these signals the subsurface three dimensional structure of the material with nano-scale spatial resolution. More specifically we achieved:
• Development of a new microscope platform, the VSMM together with technical toolkits (calibration kits and nanoscale probes) and transmission S21 toolbox for ultrasensitive measurements of 3D subsurface electromagnetic material properties with nanoscale resolution.
• Tested and applied the new microwave microscope in materials science (ferroelectric materials, green technology materials for solar cells and materials for nanoscale field effect transistors) and bio-science (microwave 3D imaging of living cells).
• Followed European policies and standardization norms to promote the newly developed measurement technology (including ISO, Euramet, CENELEC).
The consortium developing and commercialising the VSMM comprises 7 partners: Bio Nano Consulting (London, UK), MC2 (Lille, France), Keysight Technologies (Linz, Austria), National Physical Laboratory (Teddington, UK), CNR-IMM (Rome, Italy), IBEC (Barcelona, Spain) and Nanoworld Services (Erlangen, Germany).

Project Context and Objectives:
Nanotech R&D continues to grow across the globe and remains a strong cradle for innovation. In this framework, nanotechnology tools for research purposes have also increased their importance because of the necessity to characterize devices, materials and biological samples at the nano-scale level. The introduction of VSMM will place the EU ahead in the development of the next generation tools for the high resolution 3D imaging of materials at the nano-scale.
Ultimately, the VSMM, together with the calibration toolkits, nanoscale microwave measuring probes, novel measurement workflows and software automation, will overcome the limitations of current instruments and open a new era for the nanoscale microwave characterization of materials. This new instrument will allow mapping the 3D spatial distribution of the electromagnetic properties of a material (complex permittivity and magnetic susceptibility) with nanoscale resolution. The VSMM is unique and well beyond the current state of the art, not only in commercial instruments but also among laboratory research instruments. The instrument will allow non-destructive subsurface analysis of the electromagnetic properties of the sample. The ability to probe the sub-surface structure and materials properties is invaluable for almost any domain in materials science and semiconductor devices. The application of the VSMM will support the development of the next generation of electronics and photovoltaics, which in turn will facilitate the deployment of green technologies by improving voltaic efficiency. Bringing these technologies to fruition as soon as possible will also reduce the carbon footprint within Europe.
Additionally, the VSMM will allow the nanoscale imaging living cells, including the imaging of nanoparticle uptake. This feature will advance the field of imaging in the life sciences, which will boost the research in drug delivery and in nano-toxicology, in turn benefiting European healthcare.
Therefore, the expected short-term impact of the introduction of VSMM in the European market will be around 5 M€/year (roughly 20 setups will be sold per year with each ~250 k€). In the long term (3 years after VSMM product introduction) it is expected that 100 setups will be sold per year worldwide (turnover of 25 M€/year). The novel microscope can be quickly adopted by failure analysis laboratories in semiconductor industry (there are 1000+ fabs worldwide including major companies like IBM, Avago, Infineon). Once the full metrological setup has been established, software automation included, and standardization done, a much larger market in materials science and life science can be addressed.

Project Results:
During the first months of the project, the consortium has focussed primarily on developing the reflection mode (S11, the scattering parameter for reflection) of the current scanning microwave microscopy (SMM) technology and further extending the capabilities of the SMM to enable S21 transmission measurements. The team demonstrated the capability of the SMM to measure calibrated capacitances and dopant densities at the nanoscale. In particular the groups at Keysight and CNR-Rome have shown a noise level of 1 aF for capacitance measurements and a dynamic range of 1014-1020 atoms/cm3 for dopant profiling. Furthermore, they have shown a lateral resolution of 10 nm using standard electrical conductive cantilevers and semiconductor samples.
In parallel the consortium, to support the development of the overall system, designed, produced and used calibration kits to enable:
1. Quantification of the measured signals
2. Extraction of the intrinsic electromagnetic properties of the materials under investigation.
The team at MC2 technologies designed and manufactured calibration samples for complex permittivity measurements. The kits have been distributed to Keysight, IBEC, and CNR-IMM. Each calibration sample has several (>20) calibration spots (i.e. Schottky diodes). The partners decided that rather than a patent a scientific paper will generate greater impact to the scientific SMM community, so based on this deliverable a draft scientific paper is currently being worked upon and will be submitted for peer review in due course.
In collaboration with Keysight, these calibrations kits enabled the measurement of complex permittivity in the microwave range with the SMM equipment. In particular, complex impedance measurements have been performed on both the metal-oxide-semiconductor based (MOS) capacitors as well as the Schottky diodes (gold pads directly placed on the doped silicon without oxide). The calibration sample has been used for complex permittivity measurements of high-k oxides and complex permittivity measurements of cells and nanoparticles.
These experiments laid the groundwork for the VSMMART-NANO project regarding SMM capacitance calibration and demonstrated that the SMM delivers enough sensitivity both for capacitance measurements and lateral resolution. These experimental measurements have been supported throughout by utilising state-of-the art computational modelling tools (EMPro and COMSOL), which have aided the validation of the system.
In particular, the consortium performed 2D and 3D advanced finite element analysis of the tip-sample interaction of a SMM. We investigated the effect of variations of the basic system variables, such as tip-angle, tip-radius, tip-sample distance and the operational frequency on the impedance. Also we studied the impedance variation when spherical inclusions of different sizes, permittivity and positions are present both beneath and onto the surface of a SiO2 sample. Furthermore, we estimated the capacitive contributions of stray electromagnetic field between the cantilever and the sample. We studied the effect of variation in the conductivity of the bulk silicon substrate and the inclination angle of the probe on the impedance. Also we investigated the effect of variation in sample size on the system impedance. Our findings underline the sensitivity of the SMM system to small variations in both the probe and the sample parameters, which has important experimental implications as they shed new light on the sensitivity and performance of the SMM system. Additionally, the team developed a new algorithm for the calibration of near-field scanning microwave microscopes, which enabled the simultaneous measurement of the topography, capacitance, and the resistance of a sample with standard AFM cantilevers that have a tip radius below 10 nm.

The team at CNR-Rome lead the design and manufacturing of a tool box allowing SMM measurements in transmission. The team performed the initial measurements in transmission by using the tool box connected with a Microwave Precision Network Analyzer (PNA) and a Scanning Microwave Microscopy (SMM). A broad-band prototype, made by a flange connector properly mounted on a dielectric sample holder, has been used in conjunction with the SMM to perform preliminary transmission.
Currently, imaging was possible including both the contact mode and a small separation between the SMM tip and the sample surface. In particular, dielectric structures can be imaged in greater details compared to metal ones, probably because of the higher losses induced by the signal back reflection. This is actually the first step towards the volumetric scanning technique. The obtained results are very important for demonstrating that measurements can be performed:
(i) in transmission mode, trespassing the limit of one-parameter only, and with the future possibility
to image both sides of the investigated sample, and
(ii) in non-contact mode, thus opening the possibility for measurements not affected by the tip
wearing, which influences the calibration of the full setup.

The team at BNC continued the theoretical simulation of the performance of the VSMM in transmission mode
In particular, it developed an analytical model to calculate and relate the total impedance of the Transmission mod Scanning Microwave Microscope (Tx-SMM) to the scattering parameters and investigated the sensitivity of the system. Also it performed 3D advanced finite element analysis of the electromagnetic interactions between the probes and the sample in the Tx-SMM. The team compared the analytical and modelling results and studied the effect of variations in the conductivity of the bulk silicon substrate on the system characteristics. Furthermore, it investigated the effect of variations in the permittivity of both the subsurface constituents and the covering material of the sample on the scattering parameters. The numerical simulations showed that the Tx-SMM leads to better sensitivity (from twofold to as much as 5 times increase) than the system sensitivity in the reflection mode operation. In particular, we found the sensitivity of the phase of the S-parameter to be 3 times better than that of its magnitude. These findings underlined the increased sensitivity of the Tx-SMM system against small variations in the sample parameters, which s shed new light on the overall performance of the Tx-SMM system.

A very important component of the VSMM instrument is the cantilever probes, which defines the lateral resolution of the device. The team at Nanoworld developed novel probes suitable for VSMM measurements where the key issue is the integration of a shielded signal transmission line into support chip, cantilever and tip of a SPM probe to reduce parasitic capacitances and electric stray fields.
Based on the application-specific requirements of Keysight and IBEC –strongly supported by electrical high-frequency simulations of BNC – the team in Erlangen developed a suitable probe design and a batch fabricating process to manufacture cost-effective shielded SPM probes .
Using the fabrication scheme we could realize different demonstrators of monolithic VSMM-probes and have performed first functionality tests as topography – and SMM measurements.

In parallel the team at CNR following the encouraging results obtained during the development of the transmission mode hardware, continued the development of the S21-Toolbox, using numerical simulations to evaluate the expected change in the overall performance of the Toolbox.
As a result, the team concluded that the best microwave emitter for providing a wideband response is a commercial flange connector whose RF launcher parameters can be easily tuned. Moreover, no significant improvement in the signal-to-noise ratio is obtained when narrow diameter connectors or cone-shaped pins are used. Finally, the transmitted power can be drastically reduced if too narrow pins are used as emitters.
Thus the team made some mechanical adjustments on the original sample holder to improve both the alignment and the interaction between the SMM tip and the sample “illuminated” by the bottom placed pin, but maintaining the same wideband radiating element.

All the efforts from the consortium allowed the development of an integrated VSMM instrument that can be used in several different modes allowing for subsurface imaging. The first group of new modes is operating at different frequencies, including dual frequency dC/dV, interferometric sweep SMM design, simple PNA frequency changes, and time domain gating experiments. The second group of new modes is working at different tip-sample distances including constant height imaging, lift mode and backwafer imaging. The latter group is also efficiently supported by 3D FEM numerical solvers including EMPro that was adapted for those workflows.
Some of the frequency domain modes (time domain gating and the simple PNA frequency approach) allow getting insights into the 3D layer structure and thicknesses of the individual layers. However, most of those techniques can be only used for semiconductors that have free carriers and depletion zones and can’t be applied simply to bio-samples. In contrast, most of the non-contact imaging modes can be applied both to semiconductor and “soft” samples, such as cells. The non-contact imaging modes have been successfully used to measure the samples with either air, oxide or silicon in between tip and the sample. In all cases, roughly 300-500nm thickness is allowed to get proper signal-to-noise. The detailed value depends on the dielectric properties which can be modelled with EMPro. The 300-500 nm is currently the limit for shallow subsurface imaging using S21 and/or S11.
A scorecard based evaluation has been done and different aspects of the methods are evaluated. There are
two winner approaches, one in frequency domain (the interferometric sweep mode) and one in noncontact imaging (constant height imaging mode). EMPro modelling can currently be used to have semi-quantitative evaluation of the 3D geometry. In future, 3D calibration samples (in collaboration with MC2) and shielded cantilevers (in collaboration with NWS) will complement the portfolio for calibrated and quantitative 3D imaging. Application of VSMM imaging in bioscience

Having developed and validated all the components of the VSMM prototype, the team at IBEC analysed the ability of the VSMM instrument to characterize the dielectric properties of cells and single nanoparticles. To this end they have carried complex permittivity measurements on single bacteria cells and single gold nanoparticles (~40 nm radius). Results show that the SMM instrument is able to quantitatively measure the intrinsic dielectric properties of single bacteria cells in the GHz frequency range. Furthermore, they also show the possibility to detect the dielectric response of single gold nanoparticles in remarkable agreement with theoretical predictions. These results provided the basis for the analysis of the interaction of metallic nanoparticles with living cells. The team at IBEC lead the application of scanning microwave imaging of fixed cell samples for imaging of fixed cells in air conditions. Sample preparation protocols have been optimized by BNC in order to facilitate its imaging with the scanning microwave microscope.
The team at BNC selected iHBECs cells for imaging because they represent a good model for further studies of nanotoxicology. These cells are primary human epithelial cells immortalized by serial transfection using retroviral constructs containing cyclin-dependent kinase 4 (Cdk4) and human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT). Basal cells are considered the stem/progenitor cell population in the human airway and when grown in a culture, they have basal characteristics.
Similarly, BNC team considered a variety of sample substrates with different coatings and electrical properties to elucidate the most suitable for SMM imaging. SMM images on fixed cells have been recorded in the typical reflection mode imaging of the current SMM configuration, showing clearly some of the nanoscale structural features of cells.

Then the consortium employed the VSMM to image fixed cell samples with internalized gold nanoparticles of 100 nm in diameter. Sample preparation protocols have been optimized in terms of nanoparticle solution concentration. Samples have been prepared both on conducting substrates for scanning microwave imaging, as well as, on glass substrates for optical microscopy inspection. SMM images have been recorded in the reflection mode imaging of the current SMM configuration. Small structures down to 100 nm have been imaged, although they could not be unambiguously identified as nanoparticles. The analysis of the results indicate that living cell imaging in liquid media may offer better conditions for imaging of internalized nanoparticles since a smoother surface will be displayed by the cells. 3D Calibration Kits

The team at MC2 was involved on the design and manufacturing of calibration samples for standardized 3D SMM measurement. The layout of the calibration sample was designed and an optimized layout was achieved. The process workflow has been developed. To achieve this, a number of process tests have been performed in the cleanroom. Two process solutions have been considered. In one case, metallic nanoparticles have been included in Silicon Oxide. In the second case, dielectric nanoparticles have been included in Silicon Oxide. In collaboration with Partners (Keysight, CNR-IMM, IBEC and NWS) these calibrations kits have been measured, analysed and demonstrated to be a very promising 3D tomographic microwave imaging calibration kit at nanoscale. These new calibration kits have been sent to all the partners of the consortium for evaluation, in total more than 10 samples have been distributed to Keysight, IBEC, and CNR-IMM. Each calibration sample has several calibration spots. The 1µm square buried structures and the close disc 200nm buried can be clearly detected in EFM. Comparing the results obtained with the same EFM setup on the two 3D calibration kits (gold pellets and SixNy pellets), we observed that the signal obtained with the gold pellets is higher. Overall, the high frequency (GHz) SMM measurements and the low frequency (kHz) EFM measurements agree very well in the topographical images as well as in the electrical images. The 3D cal-kit can be properly used for both frequency regimes and it will be used to calibrate the measurements for subsequent application work. Software for Advanced VSMM imaging

The team at Keysight implemented integrated software for advanced VSMM imaging. In particular they developed software in the following four domains:

1. VSMM control software to run novel measurement modes including transmission mode imaging
2. Data analysis software for complex impedance imaging including real time implementation into PicoView.
3. 3D modelling software EMPro was combined with 2D ADS circuitry VSMM models to allow a full VSMM model for data interpretation.
4. 3D reconstruction and superposition capabilities are shown for topography and capacitance overlay and 3D data representation. Using differential dC/dV also spectroscopic tip-bias DC voltage superposition can be done.

Part of the software is running as stand-alone scripts (eg implemented in Matlab, Python, and C) while most of the developed software is already included in the VSMM control software PicoView, in the 3D/2D modelling software EMPro/ADS, and in the 3D post-processing software PicoImage. Most of the software is not released yet as product (only the EMPro VSMM model is officially available). However, for the R&D work the software is available and implemented in the VSMM prototypes together with the corresponding hardware. The consortium delivered a complete hardware and software prototype VSMM which, for the moment, is only available to the consortium members. The software is easy to use for beginners but also allows advanced users to have full control of the parameters.
The information from the PNA is included in the AFM software and the most important parameters can be selected within PicoView. The software allows switching between reflection (S11) and transmission (S21) measurements without changing the hardware and cables. The AFM and the PNA communicate properly on all channels.

Two different complex impedance calibration workflows were implemented in the software and partly integrated in PicoView. The two workflows are based on the two corresponding scientific publications from Gramse et al (Nanotechnology, 2014) and Hoffmann et al. (IEEE-NANO,2012) A detailed manual was established with a step-by-step procedure for the experimental data acquisition and the use of the scripts.

The team at Keysight developed a SMM model for the 3D field solver EMPro and showed integration with the 2D circuitry design software ADS. The models were used for the scientific investigation of the experiments and used in several projects in the VSMMART consortium. For the modelling a 3D-field solver (Keysight Electromagnetic Professional software EMPro) and 2D circuitry design software (Keysight Advance Design Software ADS) were used for qualitative interpretation of reflection and transmission mode measurements. The integration capability of ADS and EMPro enables the simulation of the microwave hardware circuit and the electromagnetic interaction of the tip-sample in a single model. Figure 15 shows the combined EMPro/ADS model. A full description of the model and the EMPro/ADS simulation details are given in deliverable 4.5 (entitled ‘modelling for data interpretation’). The SMM model embedded in EMPro is commercially available as well as the integration in ADS. This model has been used by several teams already to simulate different SMM tip-sample geometries including nanoparticles and single layer graphene (Figure 16 as done by the Keysight Linz team).

Different image channels can be loaded and modified with the history of changes saved to the workflow. 3D overlay functions allow then the superposition of individual images, for instance topography and capacitance. While the topography of the sample is given in 3D the colour gives the calibrated capacitance information. The superposition can be done also with the dC/dV image acquired at different tip-bias DC voltages.

Potential Impact:
Broadly in this project we have considered dissemination on two levels: the first, is effective dissemination of information between the project partners and the EC is required to ensure collaboration and knowledge transfer; and the second, involves dissemination to the wider public and scientific community, which is essential to promote the project, increase technology adoption and promote the wider activities of the EC.
For internal communication standard email, telephone and teleconferences, the project website ( have been used amongst the partners and the Project Officer and Project Technical Assistant. BNC has recorded and circulated the minutes of all meetings and ensure all partners are aware of activities across the consortium. The technical reports produced by the work package leaders have been distributed among the partners, describing the main results and give a critical analysis of the activities carried out, using the functionality on the website. In addition, oral presentations will be given by each work package leader at project meetings every 6 months.
Project Newsletter: In June 2013 we published the first newsletter to highlight the main results and outputs of the project to date. This was published on the project website and distributed electronically to all national and international collaborators of the members of the consortium. Additionally, hard copies were printed out and included in the delegate packs at the “Workshop on Electromagnetic Materials Measurement Best Practice” held in June, in Ljubljana, Slovenia. In May 2014, we have published on the project website our 2nd newsletter which featured the development of:
• a capacitance standard to enable calibrated scanning microwave microscopy
• a 3D modelling software to support SMM measurements
• a calibration workflow for quantitative complex impedance and permittivity measurements
• SMM imaging in liquid environment
An additional newsletter has been issued on February 2015 and it has been distributed during the Training Course.

It featured products available from the consortium and developed within the VSMMART-NANO project

• Keysight

EMPro2013 release with SMM project for purchasing information please visit:
The liquid tight SMM nose cone is available for the newest 7500 AFM release (July 2014)
The complex impedance software visualization is available in PicoView 1.20 (Oct 2014)

• MC2 Technologies

The Cal-Kit developed by MC2 technologies is available for purchase online at:

• Nanoworld Services

Electrochemical nanoprobes available from

Twitter Account: @vsmmartnano has been established in April 2014 and it was used to disseminate publications, news and events to the broader public. It now features over 350 followers which include several FP7 projects and industries active in the field of nanotechnology and microwave.

Publication in Scientific Journals: The most direct way to reach the scientific community is through peer reviewed publications. To date we have published 9 articles and several others have been submitted.

9. Gramse et al, Nanotechnology, 2015, Quantitative sub-surface imaging with VSMM
8. Kasper et al, J Applied Physics, 2014, SMM study of MOS and Schottky contacts
7. Gomila et al, Nanotechnology, 2014, Analytical modeling of EFM applied to dielectric films
6. Gramse et al, Nanotechnology, 2014, Complex Impedance Calibration
5. Oladipo et al., APL, 2014, Transmission SMM modeling
4. Oladipo et al., APL, 2013, EMPro/SMM modeling
3. Kasper et al., 2013, Agilent AppNote
2. Moertelmaier et al, Ultramicroscopy, 2013, High Throughput CV spectroscopy with SMM
1. Gramse et al, Nanotechnology, 2013, Theory of EFM for dielectric measurements in liquid

Conferences, Meetings & Congresses: Since the project began members of the consortium have attended several events that are listed here:

• AAAS Meeting, Invited Oral Presentation, Santa Clara USA, February 2015 (Keysight)
• Characterization Cluster Workshop, Brussels Belgium, November 2014 (CNR, NPL)
• European microwave Week, Rome Italy, October 2014, (CNR-IMM, BNC, Keysight, MC2)
• Workshop “Scanning Microwave Microscopy: a novel characterization technique for measuring micro and nano-structures and devices”, Rome Italy, October 2014, (CNR-IMM, BNC, Keysight, MC2)
• Symposium on Advanced Scanning Probe Microscopies, Invited Talk, September 2014, San Sebastian Spain (IBEC)
• Donostia International Physics Centre School on Scanning Probe Microscopies, Invited Lecture, September 2014, San Sebastian Spain (IBEC)
• Workshop on electrical Measurements at the Nanoscale, June 2014, Cambridge UK, Poster Presentation (BNC, CNR-IMM, Keysight) including SMM demo
• 10th International Conference on Organic Electronics, June 2014, Invited Presentation, Modena Italy (IBEC)
• Linz Winter Workshop, February 2014, Attendees, Linz Austria (Keysight)
• Barlow Lecture UCL, 25 April 2013 London, UK (BNC – Poster Presentation)
• Workshop on Graphene-like technologies and devices, July 2013, Oral Presentation, Naples Italy (CNR-IMM)
• Workshop on Electromagnetic Materials Measurement Best Practice, 13 June 2013, Ljubljana, Slovenia (NPL)
• Nano Measure, 25 – 26 June 2013, Warsaw, Poland (Agilent)
• 16th International Conference onNon-Contact Atomic Force Microscopy 2013 Conference, 5 - 9 August 2013, Maryland, USA (IBEC –Invited presentation )
• ImageNano 2013 Congress, 23-26 April 2013, Bilbao, Spain (IBEC – Invited presentation)
• Trends in Nanotechnology (TNT2013), 9 - 13 September 2013, Seville, Spain (IBEC –oral presentation)
• 7th International Congress on Advanced Electromagnetic Materials in Microwaves and Optics – Metamaterials, 16 -21 September 2013, Bordeaux, France (BNC & Agilent – Poster Presentation)
• 39th International Conference on Micro and Nano Engineering, London, 16 – 19 September 2013 (NWS - Poster Presentation “Design and fabrication of a thin-film multilayer cantilever”)

We are aiming to continue to dissemination information about the project at other events in the future and we organized a workshop in London on 5th February to highlights the major finding of the VSMMART-NANO project and to demonstrate the capabilities of the volumetric scanning microwave microscope with the following program

Nanoscale Measurements with Scanning Probe Microscopies

10:00-10:20 Silviu Sorin Tica (Keysight Austria), State of the art in VSMM and its application in materials science
10:20-10:40 Gabriel Gomila (IBEC, Spain), Application of VSMM to life science
10:40- 11:10 Bob Clarke (NPL, UK), Uncertainties and Standards of VSMM measurements
11:10-11:30 Coffee Break & VSMM Demonstration
11:30-12:00 Abiola Oladipo (Bio Nano Consulting, UK), Computational Techniques for Analysis of VSMM
12:00-12:30 Invited Talk Pavel Kabos (NIST, USA), SMM at the Atomic Scale
12:30-15:00 Lunch Break with poster session & VSMM Demonstration
15:00-15:30 Invited Talk John Gallop (NPL, UK), Microwave Imaging of Graphene at the Macro- and Micro-scale
15:30-15:50 Invited Talk Stephen Hanham (Imperial College London, UK), A Novel TEM Near-field Microwave Microscope for Material Characterisation
15:50-16:20 Invited Talk Bart Hoogenboom (London Centre for Nanotechnology, UK), Nanoscale stiffness topography using AFM
16:20 - 17:00 Coffee Break & VSMM Demonstration
17:00-17:30 Invited Talk Teresa Tetley (Imperial College London, UK), Nanoparticles and Health
17:30-18:00 Invited Speaker Pavel Novak (QMUL, UK), Imaging nanoparticle internalization in Human Lung Cells Using Fast Ion Conductance Microscopy
18:00 Consolidation & VSMM Demonstration

We are still planning to engage with the wider scientific community past the end date of the project by participating to “The IBEC symposium days” annual event to showcase the objectives and results of V-SMMART Nano. Furthermore we will maintain and update the website and twitter account for at least 3 years after the end of the project.

Connection with European Networks & Projects. The consortium members participate in a variety of networks related to the topics of the V-SMMART Nano project, as well as in the wider community of nano-biotechnology and collaborate in (inter)national research projects. Romolo Marcelli (CNR-IMM) and Kevin Lees (NPL) attended the workshop organized by the EC “Characterization Cluster” to discuss about future NMP calls and the opportunities for nano-characterisation tools.

We have made connection with the NanoXCT project and are part of their industrial interest group; we hope in the near future to be able to work with this project team to disseminate our project results to via their network too.
The EC project technical assistant has put us in contact with two relevant EC projects:
• Insight which is concerned with nano particle measurement.
• UnivSEM which is involved in developing a Scanning Electron Microscope with many attachments. This group has a WP called Validation which attempts to provide standards for the instrument which is designed to carry out measurements at the nano-scale.

List of Websites:

Project Coordinator: Dr Paolo Actis,

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