nanoTrek® DEMO


A wafer fabricated
at the Institute of Microelectronics, Singapore
with nanoTrek® devices.


Quantum-π’s aim is i) to provide sub nanometer and nanoradian dimensional metrology tools to enable nanotechnology growth and benefit the microelectronics industry and ii) to develop new NEMS sensors superior in accuracy, smaller in size and of lower cost than existing ones.

Two specific type of products are:

  • sub-nanometer position metrology nanoTrek® devices for the high-end microelectronic and scientific markets, and
  • accelerometers, gyroscopes and vibration NEMS sensors for the oil & gas exploration, drilling and exploitation market.
Several companies are currently testing our products in the USA, UK, Germany and Singapore.

Planned nanoTrek® products include:

  • wireless networks of smart sensors (motion detection, perimeter security);
  • sonobuoys (Navy);
  • vibration measurements (perimeter security sensing, CD drives prototyping & testing, ship building, air-foil testing, building stability);
  • accelerometers and gyroscopes (inertial guidance systems, missile guidance, aviation, shipping and automotive);
  • image stabilization systems in optical devices (infra-darkred, night vision, vehicle mounted, cameras and video);
  • ultra sensitive microphones (intelligence, medicine, mobile phones);
  • displacement and tremor sensors in nuclear test monitoring, mining, mineral exploration, geology, tectonics;
  • seismometers - early earthquake warning systems, tsunami detection;

In comparison with existing advanced MEMS sensors (N.B. NEMS sensors are not yet on the market in any noticeable numbers), Quantum-π devices:

  • provide an order of magnitude improvement in precision of measurement;
  • are smaller and weigh less (entire sensor weighs less than 0.1 g and is smaller than 1mm2 in area, whereas the sensing part is only 20 micrometers in size - one fifth of a diameter of a human hair);
  • are more robust: Quantum-π nanoTrek® sensors will use less power and will have higher output signal for a given stimulus;
  • can be mass produced using conventional semiconductor manufacturing processes;
  • are cheaper,
  • will be incorporated in an intelligent wired and wireless sensor networks.
The devices will have both commercial (size, price) and technological advantages (accuracy, resolution, robustness) making them superior to those currently available. Products based on the technology have the potential to supplant existing sensor products in many applications and to enable entirely new applications.


The operating principle of Quantum-π's nanoTrek® devices is quantum tunneling. This makes them unique and advantageous over existing devices for similar measurements which use techniques based on other physical principles (e.g. optical, interferometry, capacitance, piezoelectricity etc.).

The only reported attempts to build quantum tunnelling sensors were based on a cantilever tip-surface geometry. Such devices are inherently non-linear. Our devices, on the other hand are linear and do not suffer from limitations such as restricted tip-to-plane movement.

Quantum-π's devices also have advantages over other type of devices, for example:

Device Type Sub-micron Process capable Linear Response Ease of use Low cost
Capacitance NO YES YES YES
Piezoelectric YES NO YES NO (not at nanometer resolution)
Cantilever Tunnelling YES NO NO NO


  1. Sensors and Metrology Devices from Quantum-π: from nanoTrek® to tunneling photo-detector array; talk presented at Quantum Metrology Conference, Poznan, Poland (2008 May 5-7)
  2. Quantum Tunneling NEMS Devices for Bio-Medical Applications; talk presented at Technology Commercialisation Forum, Singapore, (2007 Nov 5-6)
  3. Fabrication processes for nanoTrek® devices; talk presented at International Conference on Materials for Advanced Technologies 2007, Singapore (2007 July 1-6)
  4. Quantum Tunneling Between Large Arrays of Nanowires - New Sensing Principle, Applications in Defense and Security and Demonstration of nanoTrek® Functionality; poster presented at: Nanoelectronic Devices for Defense and Security, Crystal City, VA, USA (2007 June 18-21)
  5. 3D Monolithic Devices Utilizing Quantum Tunneling Between 2D Arrays of Quasi-1D Nanowires; poster presented at: Nanoelectronic Devices for Defense and Security, Crystal City, VA, USA (2007 June 18-21)

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