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Traditional electromagnetic (EM) spectral sensors using integrated circuit technologies (e.g. automotive radars, security imagers, cameras, etc.) are normally based on remote wave scattering or absorption by macroscopic objects at remote distance; the operations are also not selective in wave frequencies. In the past couple of years, a new paradigm of chip-scale EM spectral sensing emerges with features complementary to the above: they utilize various modalities of interactions between EM waves with high-precision frequency control and microscopic particles (molecules, atoms, etc.) with close proximity to the chip. This progress is enabled by the recent advances of silicon devices and processes, as well as the extension of circuit operation frequencies into the terahertz regime. Chip-scale sensing and metrology systems with new capabilities, higher performance and unprecedented affordability now become possible. Examples include THz gas spectroscopy sensors, on-chip “atomic-clock-grade” frequency references, room-temperature CMOS-quantum magnetometers, etc. This talk will present the basic physics of the some wave-matter interactions, key enabling technologies, as well as the designs and prototypes of a few chip systems in the category described above. We will also discuss their potential applications in bio- chemical analysis, wireless networks, PNT (positioning, navigation & timing), security and so on.