Select Page

CODATA/VAMAS Joint Working Group on the Description of Nanomaterials

  1. Home
  2. /
  3. Initiatives
  4. /
  5. Previous CODATA Working Groups
  6. /
  7. CODATA/VAMAS Joint Working Group...

CODATA/VAMAS Joint Working Group on the Description of Nanomaterials


Nanomaterials are complex, and researchers continue to develop new and innovative materials. Describing nanomaterials is a challenge for all user communities, but a description system is essential to ensure that everyone knows exactly which nanomaterial is being discussed, whether for research, regulatory, commercial, or other purposes.

CODATA and VAMAS, an international pre-standardization organization concerned with materials test methods, have set up a joint working group to help develop a uniform description system for nanomaterials.  This international working group includes representatives from virtually every scientific and technical discipline involved in the development and use of nanomaterials, including physics, chemistry, materials science, pharmacology, toxicology, medicine, ecology, environmental science, nutrition, food science, crystallography, engineering, and more. Many international scientific unions actively participate.

Uniform Description System Version 2.0 Now Available

A complete revised version of the Uniform Description System for Materials on the Nanoscale (UDS) is now available for download. Version 2.0 of the UDS is the result of two years of work and meetings by the CODATA-VAMAS Working Group on Nanomaterials that extensively updated and extended Version 1.0. The UDS 2.0 contains 19 tables of detailed descriptors and their definitions that are directly applicable for reporting nanomaterials research results, identifying nanomaterials in regulations and standards, developing formats for nanoinformatics resources, specifying nanomaterials in commercial transactions, and other uses. Comments and suggestions are welcomed. Please send to

Working Group Documents

Uniform Descripton System

CODATA-VAMAS Working Group on Nanomaterials

Contacts and Information

Comments, suggestions, and corrections about the UDS are welcomed. Please contact us at

  • John Rumble, Working Group Chair:
  • Steve Freiman, VAMAS Chair
  • Clayton Teague, Technical Chair