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Electromagntetic Characterization Of NAnostructured Materials (ECONAM)

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Standardised characterisation of novel electromagnetic materials

Electricity and magnetism are responsible for many of the functions of today's high-tech devices. EU-funded scientists developed novel materials' testing techniques and a one-stop website with links to tutorials, facilities and more.

Industrial Technologies

Exploiting the electromagnetic (EM) properties of materials is fundamental to the development of novel components for devices such as computers, communications gadgets and biomedical imaging instrumentation. With the advent of nanotechnology, scientists and engineers have the ability to manipulate and create materials that are at the nano-scale, or atomic and molecular level. However, characterisation of relevant EM properties at the nanoscale level poses significant challenges for conventional measurement techniques. The EU-funded project 'Electromagnetic characterisation of nanostructured materials' (ECONAM) was designed to coordinate the development and standardisation of testing methods for EM characterisation of nanostructured materials. In addition, project partners aimed at the widespread distribution of results to the research community, industry and standardisation bodies. ECONAM website ( presents all project results in an easy-to-use format with general topics regarding characterisation, organised in three sections for beginners, specialists and industry members. Generally relevant topics include a glossary of technical terms, classification of materials, experimental measurement methods and a section on choosing appropriate measurement techniques. Beginners will find links to information including introductory lectures on chosen topics, a comprehensive bibliography, a roadmap and tutorial for the experimental characterisation of materials. Specialists have easy access to overviews from expert groups, special conference sessions and materials from short courses. There is also a link to a comprehensive database of European test facilities and access rules to facilitate planning and contact. Industrialists will also have access to specific fields of application including cloaks and optical nanocircuits. Although the project term has officially finished, the website continues to serve as a virtual European facility for characterisation as well as for providing metrology services for large industry and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). ECONAM's novel techniques for characterisation of the EM properties of nano-structured materials and interfaces are expected to have important impact on the development of novel applications for telecommunications, imaging, sensing and more. In the long term, the adoption of standardised testing protocols and measurements will facilitate reliable and reproducible results to enhance efficient and effective sharing of knowledge.

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