Project: Quantum ampere: Realisation of the new SI ampere

Electric current is the flow of electrons, each of which carries an identical charge. This charge is known as the elementary charge and is a fundamental constant of nature. The SI unit of electric current - the ampere - can therefore be defined in terms of a fixed value for the elementary charge. To realise a new definition of the ampere we need to control the number of electrons that flow over time. This project will develop state-of-the-art Single Electron Transport (SET) devices – known as SET pumps - which generate electric current by moving only one electron at a time. The project will combine these SET pumps with ultrasensitive single electron detectors to create highly-accurate quantum current sources for use as standards. The main impact of this project will be in fundamental electrical metrology but it could also result in faster electronic devices and in improved measurement capabilities in the semiconductor industry, in radiation dosimetry and in environmental monitoring.

Acronym SIB07 Qu-Ampere (Reference Number: SIB07)
Duration 01/05/2012 - 30/04/2015
Project Topic Metrology
Project Results
(after finalisation)
See Website
Website visit project website
Network EMRP
Call EMRP Call 2011 - Health, SI Broader Scope and New Technologies

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt Coordinator Germany
2 Laboratoire national de métrologie et d'essais Partner France
3 Teknologian tutkimuskeskus VTT Oy Partner Finland
4 NPL Management Limited Partner United Kingdom
5 Commissariat à l'énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives France
6 The Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the University of Cambridge United Kingdom