National Physical Laboratory


Research is undertaken to ensure that NPL's facilities follow technological advance and remain relevant for today's technical innovators. It is focused on areas identified by the UK government as having most future impact for UK business. Thus the research is feeding into developments in the 'Interconnected World', but also on energy efficiency, healthcare and transport. All current research projects are collaborative and have moved towards a policy of working very closely with partners, in many cases in the field or at their own laboratories, because the old traditional policy of developing purely lab-based standards is not effective in fast-moving technology areas. Recent and current research projects include:

  • Communications research on small and smart antennas, waveform parameters, wireless propagation and efficacy and resilience of both Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) and wireless communication in general.
  • Effective waveguiding for the 100 GHz – THz spectral region.
  • Research to improve printed circuit and on-wafer operation at microwave frequencies, including investigation of interconnects and of sources of loss.
  • Dielectric measurement on sub-mm scales, on thin films, on functional dielectrics (e.g. ferroelectrics), composites (e.g. CFRPs), meta-materials and active structured surfaces and to support Health and Safety (SAR) metrology and microwave processing.

RF & Microwave research

Primary Metrology covers RF and Microwave measurement standards in transmission media such as hollow waveguides, coaxial lines, dielectric waveguides and planar lines in high frequency integrated circuits.


Please note that the information will not be divulged to third parties, or used without your permission