Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Cold atoms for quantum technology

A microfabricated grating transforms a single incoming laser beam into a light field specially tailored for trapping and cooling atoms
A microfabricated grating transforms a single incoming laser beam into a light field specially tailored for trapping and cooling atoms

Abstract:
Researchers from the National Physical Laboratory, University of Strathclyde, Imperial College London and University of Glasgow have developed a portable way to produce ultracold atoms for quantum technology and quantum information processing. Their research has been published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, where it is featured on the front cover.

Cold atoms for quantum technology

Teddington, UK | Posted on May 12th, 2013

Many of the most accurate measurement devices, including atomic clocks, work by observing how atoms transfer between individual quantum states. The longer the atomic transition can be observed, the more precisely it can be measured. Slow-moving ultracold atoms enable the longest observation times and the highest precision. By illuminating the atoms with laser light, the Doppler effect is used to cool them down to microkelvin temperatures, a task normally achieved in a large apparatus.

Complementary approaches to microfabricate the prototype chips were developed by NPL and Imperial College London. Following this, the team further developed the technology which can make an important contribution to metrology and high-precision measurements by enabling atomic quantum sensors to be miniaturised. Advanced versions of the specialised optical diffraction gratings were co-designed by the groups in the collaboration and microfabricated by Kelvin Nanotechnology Ltd using Glasgow's James Watt Nanofabrication Centre.

These researchers have developed a technology which enables a far more compact optical setup than previously, yet it can still cool and trap large numbers of atoms for use in portable instruments. They pattern the surface of a semiconductor chip to form a diffraction grating, splitting a laser into several beams that trap and cool the atoms.

Portable clocks, magnetometers and accelerometers have wide-ranging applications, including navigation on earth and in space, telecomunications, geological exploration, and medical imaging.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Alastair Sinclair

Tel:44 020 8943 6157

Copyright © National Physical Laboratory

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related Links

Read the full letter in Nature Nanotechnology: A surface-pattered chip as a strong source of ultracold atoms for quantum technologies:

Read Cold atoms: Trapped by nanostructures in Nature Nanotechnology - News and Views - that accompanies the letter:

Find out more about how laser cooling works:

More on NPL's work on Quantum Detection:

Related News Press

News and information

Eric Berger Wins the National Space Society's 2017 Space Pioneer Award for Mass Media January 19th, 2017

Nanometrics to Announce Fourth Quarter and Full Year Financial Results on February 7, 2017 January 19th, 2017

'5-D protein fingerprinting' could give insights into Alzheimer's, Parkinson's January 19th, 2017

Strength of hair inspires new materials for body armor January 18th, 2017

Laboratories

Nanoscale view of energy storage January 16th, 2017

Chemistry on the edge: Experiments at Berkeley Lab confirm that structural defects at the periphery are key in catalyst function January 13th, 2017

Recreating conditions inside stars with compact lasers: Scientists offer a new path to creating the extreme conditions found in stars, using ultra-short laser pulses irradiating nanowires January 12th, 2017

NIST physicists 'squeeze' light to cool microscopic drum below quantum limit January 12th, 2017

Physics

Seeing the quantum future... literally: What if big data could help you see the future and prevent your mobile phone from breaking before it happened? January 16th, 2017

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

'5-D protein fingerprinting' could give insights into Alzheimer's, Parkinson's January 19th, 2017

Strength of hair inspires new materials for body armor January 18th, 2017

Self-assembling particles brighten future of LED lighting January 18th, 2017

Nanoscale view of energy storage January 16th, 2017

Quantum Computing

Seeing the quantum future... literally: What if big data could help you see the future and prevent your mobile phone from breaking before it happened? January 16th, 2017

NIST physicists 'squeeze' light to cool microscopic drum below quantum limit January 12th, 2017

First experimental proof of a 70 year old physics theory: First observation of magnetic phase transition in 2-D materials, as predicted by the Nobel winner Onsager in 1943 January 6th, 2017

Diamonds are technologists' best friends: Researchers from the Lomonosov Moscow State University have grown needle- and thread-like diamonds and studied their useful properties December 30th, 2016

Discoveries

'5-D protein fingerprinting' could give insights into Alzheimer's, Parkinson's January 19th, 2017

Strength of hair inspires new materials for body armor January 18th, 2017

Self-assembling particles brighten future of LED lighting January 18th, 2017

Dressing a metal in various colors: DGIST research developed a technology to coat metal with several nanometers of semiconducting materials January 17th, 2017

Announcements

Eric Berger Wins the National Space Society's 2017 Space Pioneer Award for Mass Media January 19th, 2017

Nanometrics to Announce Fourth Quarter and Full Year Financial Results on February 7, 2017 January 19th, 2017

'5-D protein fingerprinting' could give insights into Alzheimer's, Parkinson's January 19th, 2017

Strength of hair inspires new materials for body armor January 18th, 2017

Research partnerships

Chemistry on the edge: Experiments at Berkeley Lab confirm that structural defects at the periphery are key in catalyst function January 13th, 2017

Recreating conditions inside stars with compact lasers: Scientists offer a new path to creating the extreme conditions found in stars, using ultra-short laser pulses irradiating nanowires January 12th, 2017

Zeroing in on the true nature of fluids within nanocapillaries: While exploring the behavior of fluids at the nanoscale, a group of researchers at the French National Center for Scientific Research discovered a peculiar state of fluid mixtures contained in microscopic channels January 11th, 2017

New active filaments mimic biology to transport nano-cargo: A new design for a fully biocompatible motility engine transports colloidal particles faster than diffusion with active filaments January 11th, 2017

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project