Aug 13, 2020 | Sources Sought

Sources Sought

Automation Hardware and Software Upgrade for Non-Contact mm-Wave Probe Station

The National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST) seeks information on vendors that are capable of providing an Automation Hardware and Software Upgrade for Non-Contact mm-Wave Probe Station. The Quantitative Nanostructure Characterization group in PML seeks to acquire a hardware and software upgrade to automate operation of and data acquisition from a non-contact, two-port probe station for mm-wave (~100 GHz to ~1.0 THz) measurements of on-wafer devices. The upgrade must be compatible with the existing non-contact probe station (Teraprobes Inc Model Number TP-100-M8025-P) and existing mm-wave test platform components. The existing test platform components include a vector network analyzer, mm-wave extension modules, and diagonal feed horns. The probe station will support ongoing NIST programs in mm-wave device and materials characterization for a wide variety of applications, including biological sensing, measurement calibration, and wireless communications.

NIST is conducting research into non-contact measurement of on-wafer devices at mm-wave frequencies. Non-contact techniques complement techniques that use probes in physical contact with the device (e.g. ground-signal-ground probes). To date, NIST has used a manually operated non-contact probe station. Recent advances in automation of non-contact, on-wafer characterization improve throughput by a factor of ten or more compared to manual, on-wafer characterization. Moreover, software-controlled alignment of mm-wave beams with on-wafer antennas provides better reproducibility of measurement data than when beams are manually aligned. The Quantitative Nanostructure Characterization group seeks an upgrade for automation of its existing non-contact probe station to improve measurement throughput and reproducibility.


This announcement is not a Request for Quote (RFQ) and does not commit the Government to award a contract now or in the future. No solicitation is available at this time. The purpose of this synopsis is to identify organizations with the requisite qualifications to meet the requirements of the item stated herein. After the results of this market research are obtained and analyzed and compared with NIST’s minimum specifcitations. See the attached specifcitations. NIST may conduct a competitive procurement and subsequently award a contract. If at least two qualified small businesses are identified during this market research stage, then this acquisition may be solicited as a small business set aside. NIST is seeking responses from all responsible sources, including large and small businesses (SB, SDB, WOSB, HUBZone, SDVOSB, and VOSB). This requirement is assigned a NAICS code 334516, Analytical Laboratory Instrument Manufacturing. The specific purpose of this Sources Sought Announcement is to determine if there are small businesses, within the parameters identified above, that are capable of providing the item identified.

Interested business organizations that believe they are capable of meeting the requirement should submit electronic copies or mailed copies of their capability statements. Please limit responses to FIVE (5) pages or less (8.5″ x11″ format, 1″ margins, 12-point font, double spaced), including figures and tables. Responses should include the following information:

1. Name of the company and address that will provide the product.

2. Company DUNS number, Cage Code, Tax ID Number, and Type of small business, e.g., Services Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business, Veteran-owned small business, 8(a), HUBZone, Women-Owned Small Business, Small disadvantaged business, or Small Business HUBZone business.

3. Company point of contact, phone, fax, and e-mail.
4. Name of the company that will manufacture the product.
5. Specification sheets and examples of products that meet the specifications.

6. Contact information of customers who have obtained and used these products.
7. Typical lead time to deliver the product after receipt of the order.
8. Any other relevant information that is not listed above, which the Government should consider in developing its minimum specifications and finalizing its market research.


Any company proprietary information should be so marked. The written capability statement should be received by the Contracting Officer no later than 7:00 pm Mountain Standard Time (MST) August 15, 2020. The capability statement shall identify the business status of the organization.

Only electronic or mailed statements will be accepted.  Faxes will not be accepted. Send to MeeLondrell Lumpkin Contracting Officer, at meelondrell.lumpkin@nist.gov. Direct all questions to this e-mail no later than noon MST August 14, 2020.

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