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NPL’s quantum capabilities for industry

Precision low noise electrical measurements

Characterising semiconductors and insulators

NPL can help designers and developers of low power and high resistance products containing semiconductor chips, insulators and the components up or downstream of these. We can also  benefit those building novel quantum electrical devices.  We offer a flexible and bespoke service, and our experts can give advice if the problem is not a standard calibration or measurement.  NPL has unique capability to do femtoamp-level measurements for current and specialists to explain the significance of the measurements.

We can provide: 

  • Bespoke, traceable measurement of current, voltage and resistance, particularly at small signal levels not covered by standard accredited calibration services
  • Points of best practice and confidence to trust measurements when operating in the area of:
    •  Low electric current (femto-amps)
    • High resistance (peta-ohms)
    • Low charge (femto-coulombs)
  • Advice on noise debugging in complicated electrical measurement systems

In addition to the long-standing demand from the power generation industry for well-characterised electrical insulators, there are growing markets for products requiring femtoamp and petaohm characterisation of semiconductor materials, such as radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips and medical devices. Our experience developing single-electron current standards means we have the instrumentation and methods to measure small currents traceable to primary standards. If you have a measurement problem related to small electrical currents, charges or high resistance, we would love to hear from you.

Recent applications of this measurement expertise include:

  • Probe-station measurements of femtoamp (fA) leakage currents in nano-fabricated semiconductor structures
  • Measurement of focused ion beam currents at the 10-100 fA level to verify single-ion implantation capability
  • Calibration of electrometers used for environmental nano-particle counting at currents from 10-1000 fA.

Would you like to speak to our quantum team?

Contact our quantum team