gMOT – Magneto optical trap system for cold atom technologies

Grant funds

The project aims to deliver a miniature, integrated magneto optical trap (MOT) chamber for use in portable cold atom technologies and markets. Kelvin Nanotechnology, TMD Technologies and the Universities of Strathclyde and Glasgow have teamed up to create a universal miniature cold atom trap device for deployable atomic based quantum technologies that will build on key processes developed by the partners. These processes include diffractive optics design and fabrication, innovative bonding and sealing methods, physics package encapsulation, complex alkali metal vapour filling techniques and performance evaluation methodologies. Integrating these individual technologies into a highly functional and low cost system will enable rigorous testing and qualification by industrial users for deployment in next generation quantum technology systems in a wide variety of applications and markets. 

For further details to go: https://gtr.ukri.org/projects?ref=103880

PROPEL: Power Scaled DFB Lasers for Portable Spectroscopy

Grant funds

The market for handheld and portable Raman spectrometers is rapidly growing (10% CAGR) whilst progress is being made towards the development of methods to overcome the background fluorescence that has traditionally held the method back. M Squared have developed a handheld Raman spectrometer for the authentication of whisky, and are adapting this technology for healthcare applications based on proprietary background subtraction techniques. Handheld spectrometers require high performance with enough power and spectral purity to allow accurate species identification, whilst being compact, robust and low cost. At present high precision laser sources used for high resolution spectroscopy have external cavities which are bulky limiting their use in the field. During this project the consortium will develop power scaled lasers based on innovative processes that make use of the unique qualities of compound semiconductors to deliver improved light intensity. The power scaled laser will be low cost and rugged, and able to provide high precision analysis for handheld spectrometry. The enabling of high precision handheld spectrometry will enable applications in precision medicine, as well as quality monitoring in the food & drink industry. 

For further details to go: https://gtr.ukri.org/projects?ref=102901

DIFFRACT- Integrated Distributed Feedback Lasers for Cold Atom Technologies

Grant funds

This Innovate UK project is aimed at developing compact DFB lasers at 780.24 nm that are locked using a MEMS Rb cavity and an interferometer to an atomic transition in 87Rb atoms. The system is the basis for atomic clocks, inertial sensors, rotation sensors, quantum navigators, magnetometers and electrometers. The project pulls together the University of Glasgow and the University of Birmingham with the UK companies M Squared Lasers, Kelvin Nanotechnology and Optocap to build a UK supply chain for miniature lasers systems for practical and portable cold atom systems. The technology being developed can also be used for chip scale cold atom systems that ultimately could be in every mobile phone.

For further details to go: https://gtr.ukri.org/projects?ref=102808

EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Photonic Integration and Advanced Data Storage

Grant funds

​The Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Photonic Integration and Advanced Data Storage is a partnership between Queen’s University Belfast and the University of Glasgow which aims to tackle some of the challenges created by the increasing quantities of data generated by today’s society. 

The Centre’s focus is on developing highly-manufacturable photonic integration technologies related to the magnetic storage of digital information.  However, the development of these technologies will be relevant to a wide spectrum of end-users – from telecommunications to biophotonics, in which optical technologies are applied to living organisms and health care.  Established in 2014 with substantial investment from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), both universities and industrial partners including Seagate, the industry leader in hard disc drives and storage solutions, the Centre will help to address a skills shortage in the photonics industry by educating fifty future scientists and engineers over the next eight years. 

For further details to go: http://www.cdt-piads.ac.uk/Programme/

Demonstration of high-yield, high-performance ion microtraps

Grant funds

Chip-scale technology is necessary for atomic quantum devices of significantly reduced form factor. The National Physical Laboratory (NPL) has demonstrated a microchip device for the confinement of atomic ions. Its unique set of performance characteristics, together with the scalable fabrication techniques used to produce it, render it an excellent platform for an elementary component in atomic quantum technologies. Clocks, sensors and scalable superpositions and entanglement will benefit. NPL will conduct ion trapping performance tests on devices produced in an earlier IUK Study. Kelvin Nanotechnology will enhance the existing full-wafer scale microfabrication process to produce ion microtraps with ~90% target yield. Optocap will develop the principles for a custom electronic package, to enable ample connectivity for these and more complex devices in the future. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first attempt worldwide at this principle for ion microchip devices. This points the way towards the integration of these devices in atomic quantum instruments.

For further details to go: https://gtr.ukri.org/projects?ref=102674

Novel frequency doubled laser platform for atomic quantum technologies

Grant funds

Miniaturised, portable chip-scale clocks and sensors are regarded as central priorities for future sensors, navigation and secure communication systems. The Royal Academy of Engineering has highlighted the vulnerability of global navigation satellite systems and recommends that all critical infrastructures relying on accurate time measurements should have a robust holdover alternative technology. This project addresses one of the key components in achieving this goal by implementing DFB laser and PPLN technology developed for consumer applications to produce a cost effective, miniature laser technology platform for achieving short wavelength sources for use in quantum systems and sensors. By utilising technology developed for picoprojector, head up display and near eye display applications we will achieve a step change in laser technologies for quantum applications resulting in a 10e5 reduction in form factor. The vision of this project is to demonstrate a scaleable, commercially viable technological approach to producing laser sources for quantum applications building on the partners experience in applying these techniques for consumer applications.

For further details to go: https://gtr.ukri.org/projects?ref=131884

Integration of RF Circuits with High Speed GaN Switching on Silicon Substrates

Grant funds

​Future generation (5G) mobile phones and other portable devices will need to transfer data at a much higher rate than at present in order to accommodate an increase in the number of users, the employment of multi-band and multi-channel operation, the projected dramatic increase in wireless information exchange such as with high definition video and the large increase in connectivity where many devices will be connected to other devices (called “The Internet of Things”). This places big challenges on the performance of base stations in terms of fidelity of the signal and improved energy efficiency since energy usage could increase in line with the amount of data transfer. To meet the predicted massive increase in capacity there will be a reduced reliance on large coverage base-stations, with small-cell base-stations (operating at lower power levels) becoming much more common. In addition to the challenges mentioned above, small cells will demand a larger number of low cost systems.

To meet these challenges this proposal aims to use electronic devices made from gallium nitride (GaN) which has the desirable property of being able to operate at very high frequencies (for high data transfer rates) and in a very efficient manner to reduce the projected energy usage. To maintain the high frequency capability of these devices, circuits will be integrated into a single circuit to reduce the slowing effects of stray inductances and capacitances. Additionally these integrated circuits will be manufactured on large area silicon substrates which will reduce the system unit cost significantly.

More information at https://gow.epsrc.ukri.org/NGBOViewGrant.aspx?GrantRef=EP/N016408/1

Feasibility of a high-throughput manufacturing process for microfabricated ion traps

Grant funds

Chip-scale technology is necessary for atomic quantum devices of significantly reduced form factor. The National Physical Laboratory (NPL) has demonstrated a prototype microchip device for the confinement of atomic ions. Its unique set of performance characteristics, together with the scalable fabrication techniques used to produce it, render it an excellent platform for an elementary component in atomic quantum technologies. Clocks, sensors and scalable superpositions and entanglement will benefit. Kelvin Nanotechnology will work with NPL to develop aspects of the microfabrication process so that trap chips can be made at a full-wafer scale, thus demonstrating the principle and feasibility of a high-throughput manufacturing process. Optocap will work with NPL to develop an automated electronic packaging process for the microchips. Both aspects will demonstrate a route to niche-volume manufacturing and electronic packaging of ion chips. To the best of our knowledge, this will be the first attempt worldwide to show this principle for ion microchip devices. This points the way towards the integration of these devices in atomic quantum instruments.

For further details to go: https://gtr.ukri.org/projects?ref=131873

UK Quantum Technology Hub for Sensors and Metrology

Grant funds

The Hub will create a seamless link between science and applications by building on our established knowledge exchange activities in quantum technologies. We will transform science into technology by developing new products, demonstrating their applications and advantages, and establishing a strong user base in diverse sectors. Our overarching ambition is to deliver a wide range of quantum sensors to underpin many new commercial applications. Our key objective is to ensure that the Hub’s outputs will have been picked up by companies, or industry-led TSB projects, by the end of the funding period.

For further details to go: http://gow.epsrc.ac.uk/NGBOViewGrant.aspx?GrantRef=EP/M013294/1