Industry > Technology Transfer > PicoCal


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Founded: 2003
Founder: Prof. Yogesh Gianchandani
Product/Service: Novel nanoscale measurement solutions
Location: Ann Arbor, MI

PicoCal develops micro-machined sensors and actuators for semiconductor, nanotechnology, material characterization, and biological applications.

PicoCal's core technology is a family of micro-cantilevers for atomic force microscopy, scanning probe microscopy, manufacturing, chemical sensing, and biological sensing.

In the News

June 20, 2012

Ann Arbor company one of two to receive first Small Company Innovation Program grants [The Record, University of Michigan]

The Ann Arbor-based company PicoCal will receive a $40,000 Small Company Innovation Program (SCIP) grant to support research at U-M to improve the manufacturing process of nano-structured materials and nano devices.

The award is one of the first two SCIP grants given through the Michigan Corporate Relations Network (MCRN), a collaborative effort among six public universities working to connect businesses with university resources that will help to drive innovation and commercialization. It is funded by the Michigan Economic Development Corp.

The SCIP was created to help small Michigan companies attack technological and commercialization issues by providing them access to top research university resources and talent that they otherwise would not be able to afford.

Through a competitive process, MCRN will award SCIP grants for this round of funding to PicoCal and the Michigan startup DeNovo Sciences Inc.

The PicoCal research has potential to benefit nanotechnology-based applications for science, health care, energy, and the environment.


July 1, 2011

PicoCal Inc. Announces Completion of NSF Funded Research With a Number of New Products, Patents, Publications of Innovative Devices for Topographical Imaging, Thermomechanical Analysis, the Study of Local Mechanical Properties and High Throughput Applications [PRNewswire; original press release from PicoCal]

ANN ARBOR, Mich., July 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Angelo Gaitas, President of PicoCal Inc., announces the completion of PicoCal's SBIR Phase II NSF grant Award No. 0822810, which resulted in a number of breakthrough innovations in high throughput scanning probe microscopy, thermomechanical analysis, and mechanical properties analysis. Angelo Gaitas said that: "PicoCal Inc. continues to innovate and grow. Our new patented technologies eliminate the need for complicated electronics, and therefore reduce overall system costs and make parallel probes a reality. Right now we are in discussions with larger instrumentation companies to bring our recent breakthroughs to market."

Through this work the company has developed micromachined probes that include two embedded sensors on each probe: one for measuring the mechanical movement of the probe (deflection) and another for providing localized heating and measuring heat related parameters. These new devices were used for topographical imaging and thermomechanical analysis to characterize materials and determine transition temperatures. They were also used for the study of local mechanical properties such as adhesion and elasticity and for high throughput applications such as large area topographical mapping.

The new probes reduce costs and complexity and allow for portability. They eliminate the need for expensive instruments such as an atomic force microscopes since all of the sensing capability has been embedded in the miniature probe. This feature has allowed the company to develop probe arrays for higher throughput applications.

PicoCal's work has resulted in a number of product innovations, scientific peer reviewed publications, and patents. These include recent publications in Sensors and Actuators A: Physical 2011Review of Scientific Instruments 2011, and an up and coming presentation at the Eurosensors 2011 conference.  

Company Background:

PicoCal Inc. is a leader in microcantilever technologies for industrial, medical devices, microfluidic and scientific analytical sensing applications. Founded in 2004, PicoCal Inc. leverages the many years of experience of its founders and associates in microfabrication, microscopy, and engineering. Please email us: