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NIST-on-a-Chip in ADI


We are developing core technology tools to enable chip-scale standards that realize a broad range of base and derived SI units in compact, manufacturable packages.


The NIST on a Chip project in the Atomic Devices and Instrumentation group is focused on the development of compact, manufacturable, low power, SI-traceable calibration instruments using atomic vapor cells. We anticipate such devices could be broadly used in industrial settings for in-situ calibration of instruments and systems. This technology is inspired by past work on chip-scale atomic clocks, which were invented at NIST and have been successfully commercialized. Specifically we are developing:

  1. Length standards based on precision optical spectroscopy of atomic vapors confined in a cell
  2. Time standards based on miniaturized cold atom technology
  3. Current standards based on accurate magnetometry
  4. Temperature standards using Doppler thermometry

A presentation summarizing the NIST on a Chip program made to the NIST Visiting Committee on Advanced Technology can be found here.

NIST on a chip

Start Date:

July 1, 2013

End Date:


Lead Organizational Unit:



John Kitching
Elizabeth Donley
Svenja Knappe
Susan Schima


John Kitching