By Cameron Chai
Analytical Pixels (APIX), the first startup of the Alliance for Nanosystems VLSI established by CEA-Leti and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) has been established to develop, produce and commercialize miniaturized chromatography concept-based analysis systems.
Caltech and CEA-Leti developed a new approach to use gas chromatography based on their microelectronic technologies. The two organizations implemented novel techniques based on their nanoelectromechanical system (NEMS) sensors in the areas of algorithms, electronics and components for the advancement of compact, precise and rapid prototypes.
Paris-based APIX focuses on applications such as ambient air quality analysis and gas analysis for natural gas and petrochemical industries. In the future, it will also focus on medical applications including health monitoring via the biomarker analysis of the breath of a patient.
CEA-Leti in partnership with Caltech and its Kavli Nanoscience Institute is working on the transition of academic prototypes based on nanotechnology into complex and powerful sensors. The primary task of the alliance is the integration of bio and chemical sensors on a large scale, which requires the development of established academic methodologies based on nanotechnology into thoroughly tested, wafer-scale microelectronic foundry methods. This work needs the efforts of researchers involved in the fields of informatics-based signature detection algorithms, multiplexed multichannel electronic readout systems, integrated microfluidics, sensor-array architectures, NEMS device physics and chemical functionalization.
Through the launch of APIX, the alliance can now advance its efforts in the gas sensing field and allow its scientists to study the potential in the areas of nano-enabled measurement down to single-cell level, NEMS-based mass-spectrometry systems and nano-instrumentation for medical applications.