Materials Research Activities

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Danish Institute for Fundamental Metrology (DFM)

DFM is a part of the Danish metrological infrastructure. As a small country, Denmark does not duplicate the costly metrological institutions of larger nations: National Institute of Science and Technology (formerly National Bureau of Standards), USA, Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (formerly Reichsanstalt), Germany, or National Physical Laboratory, United Kingdom. Rather, the task of providing metrological services to private and public customers is distributed among a group of specialized metrological institutions. Primary standards and their development is left to the primary laboratories abroad. Instead, the distributed Danish metrological infrastructure purchases secondary standards or pays to have calibrations done at the larger metrological centers. The emphasis is primarily on providing the metrological services for which the Danish state and private enterprises have a need.

Within the dozen metrological institutions in Denmark, DFM's primary task is to provide metrological know-how and calibration services to a very high degree of precision. The purpose is to ascertain that the specifications of Danish products are acknowledged as reliable. DFM will provide technical assistance for instance related to the process of accreditation and certification. In the year 2000, 61% of customers came from the private sector within Denmark, 32% from abroad, and 7% from the public sector. In 1998, DFM operated with a small deficit, not counting government subsidies.

DFM keeps the national standards for DC electricity, length, mass, and optical radiometry. The main activity from the perspective of this website is the work on surface metrology on the nanoscale. DFM participates in a European Network on Calibration of Scanning Probe Microscopes, the coordinator of which is DFM's Joergen Garnaes. DFM also has its own website.

This page was written by Arne Hessenbruch on 15 May 2001.