National Physical Laboratory (NPL)

Location: London


NPL is the UK’s National Metrology Institute, providing the measurement capability that underpins the UK’s prosperity and quality of life.

From new antibiotics to tackle resistance and more effective cancer treatments, to secure quantum communications and superfast 5G, technological advances must be built on a foundation of reliable measurement to succeed. Building on over a century’s worth of expertise, NPL’s science, engineering and technology provides this foundation. NPL saves lives, protects the environment and enables citizens to feel safe and secure, as well as supporting international trade and commercial innovation. As a national laboratory, NPL’s advice is always impartial and independent.

Based in Teddington, south-west London, NPL employs over 600 scientists. NPL also has regional bases across the UK, including at the University of Surrey, the University of Strathclyde, the University of Cambridge and the University of Huddersfield’s 3M Buckley Innovation Centre.

For more information visit:

Key strengths and unique capabilities

  • Standards development 
  • Materials and device reliability testing 
  • Semiconductor imaging 
  • Material properties measurement 
  • Device failure analysis 
  • Development of new measurement and test methods.

Providing magnetic material properties under operating conditions for modelling.

  • Standards development 
  • Accredited material properties measurements 
  • Measurement of magnetic properties under stress and after ageing 
  • Magnetic properties of net-shape materials. 

Measurements of magnetic properties of laminations and stacks. 

In this digital age, NPL’s world-leading measurement science provides confidence in data and enables innovation and international trade to flourish. NPL develop the metrology required to ensure the timely and successful deployment of new technologies.


A suite of traceable measurement capabilities including accredited measurements:

  • Magnetisation curves under operating temperatures
  • AC loss
  • Net-shape material measurement.  

Bespoke reliability tests on materials, devices and interconnects including: 

  • Power cycling
  • Thermal cycling
  • Insulation resistance
  • Partial discharge

In-situ measurement and post-mortem characterisation to identify causes of failure and optimise material selection. 

Range of custom semiconductor imaging equipment from nanoscale (scanning probe, tip-enhanced spectroscopy) to wafer-scale hyperspectral imaging (in development), focused on development of novel and emerging techniques for wide bandgap semiconductors. 

Want to know more about partnering with NPL?