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Award winning EMPIR project finishes

Discharge of electric current through a lightening bolt

The award winning EMPIR project e-SI-Amp came to a close in 2019


The award winning EMPIR project Quantum realisation of the SI ampere (15SIB08, e-SI-Amp) came to a close at its final project meeting in March 2019 at the headquarters of LNE in Paris.


This project developed the semiconductor device and instrumentation technologies required to implement direct and practical methods for the realisation of the new ampere, which were introduced as part of the redefinition of the SI units in May 2019.


These technologies were based on the fixed value of the elementary charge, the magnitude of the electric charge carried by a single electron.


Tiny devices that can pump out one electron at a time, called electron pumps, were used for this research.

The project consortium produced several videos featuring these pumps:

In addition, project partner PTB won the prestigious Helmholtz prize for ‘Precision measurements in applied measurement technology’ for work in this EMPIR project.

The consortium also gained notable recognition for some of the many papers that it published.

Award winning project publications include:

Project Coordinator Masaya Kataoka from NPL said 

‘What I am most proud of after leading the e-SI-Amp is that our consortium partners have made real efforts in applying the technologies developed within the project to areas beyond the electrical metrology. Our work on single-electron sources and measurement systems expanded our capability to measure very small currents. Now, we have a number of case study stories of these technologies been adopted by other labs and industry, such as nuclear metrology, testing lighting, semiconductor manufacturing, etc. We may have been working on tiny things so-called electrons, but the impact our project has created was not so tiny!’.

The e-SI-Amp project was part of EMPIR’s ‘SI Broader Scope’ theme which, amongst other topics, continues in new projects due to start in 2019.


This EMPIR project is co-funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and the EMPIR Participating States.

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