Nanotechnology and microsystems

Nanotechnology involves controlling atoms and molecules to create useful materials, devices and systems that have new and different properties from what we normally see in our everyday world.

Nanotechnology has made possible the smallest man-made objects ever created. They measure less than 100 manometers (mn). To put that in to context, one eyelash is about 100,000 mn wide! Alberta has had significant success in the commercialization of microsystems and nanotechnology with leading companies in the design and manufacture of the following:

  • micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS)
  • micro-optical devices
  • nano-biotechnology
  • nano-engineered thin film structures
  • nano-materials

The main strengths of the nanotechnology and microsystems industry in Alberta are a powerful university-based research capability and interactive R&D in industry and post-secondary institutions. The University of Calgary and University of Alberta are home to amazing nanotechnology and advanced materials research facilities.

Research at the University of Alberta

Research at the University of Calgary

  • Advanced Technology Information Processing Systems (ATIPS) Labs: ATIPS Labs at the University of Calgary leverage highly advanced and emerging computing technologies to conduct research into the development and implementation of information processing systems, including: bio-engineering devices; information security systems; wireless networking components; high performance digital signal processors; opto-electronic sensors and processors; streaming video processors; arithmetic intensive processors; and machine vision systems.
  • Nanoscale Technology and Engineering Laboratory (NTEL)
  • Advanced Micro and nanosystems Integration Facility, University of Calgary (AMIF)

Alberta’s Nanotechnology companies

Cool Companies Special Report: Alberta's Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials profiles 37 of Alberta’s Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials companies


nanoAlberta works with industry, researchers and investors to help build Alberta's nanotechnology industry and apply the benefits of nanotechnology in the energy, environment, medical, agriculture and forestry sectors.