KNT are a globally recognised supplier of quantum devices and components. The fabrication of these complex devices is underpinned by our breadth and expertise in processing different materials across a range of dimensions from tens of nanometres upwards.  

The components currently within our portfolio include the following:

Magneto Optical Trap Gratings

A Diffractive Optical Element that improves ease of alignment, setup and miniaturisation for cold atom source creation compared to conventional 6-beam MOTs.

The technology requires only a single laser beam and can be used inside or external to the vapour cell; making the flexibility of quick change cold atom experiments possible. The grating MOT (gMOT) has gained much interest from the Quantum Technology community and is envisaged to become the heart of quantum systems utilising cold atoms for timing and sensing applications. 

This work was published in Nature Nanotechnology.


Lasers tuned to atomic transitions

We have developed the fabrication process for narrow line width 780nm DFB lasers for trapping and cooling of atoms e.g. Rubidium within a vapour source for the generation of Bose Einstein Condensates down to temperatures in the microkelvin regime. 

These lasers will be utilised for atom cooling and interrogation for quantum enabled precision timing and sensing applications.

KNT laser

Micro Ion Traps

These 3D micromachined ion traps enable the trapping of multiple ions and will form the foundations of future quantum computers. They were first reported by NPL in the journal Nature Nanotechnology and are now produced at the wafer scale by KNT. This wafer-scale process was co-developed with NPL and Optocap. 

The animation shows the fabrication process – 1) definition of surface electrodes, 2) deep SiO2 etch, 3) Ohmic electrode formation, 4) Silicon etch to form cavity, 5) internal electrode metallisation and 6) thickening of electrodes.

Microfabrication of ion traps ensures reproducibility of device dimensions, scalable manufacture and supply.

Wee-g: portable gravimeter

A MEMS technology that is complementary to quantum gravimeters enabling a reference, low power, no need for calibration, deployable, sensitive device. The process approach permits device performance (sensitivity, frequency) to be readily tuned to the application. It can be used to measure small variations in density underground to create gravity images valuable in fields such as energy, civil engineering, defence and environmental monitoring. Devices could also be used to survey geophysical explorations using drones instead of plane or alternatively networks of gravimeters could be positioned around volcanoes to monitor the intrusion of magma that occurs before eruption – acting as an early warning system.

This technology was reported in the journal Nature demonstrating its use in the measurements of earth tides.


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