PicoOven: Ultra-compact atomic source for quantum technology applications
PI: Goodwin, Joseph
Department: Atomic & Laser Physics
The generation and control of quantum states of matter lies at the heart of rapidly developing efforts to build vastly improved devices for computation, communication, timekeeping and sensing, collectively referred to as 'quantum technologies'.
At the core of many such systems is a source of neutral atoms, supplying the precursor material from which one can engineer quantum mechanical phenomena. Atomic sources have been deployed in applications ranging from emerging architectures for trapped-ion quantum computation, to well-established frequency references in satellite based atomic clocks for global positioning. However, the atomic sources developed to date suffer from a range of limitations to scalability, primarily in the complexity and reliability of their design, or in their size, weight, and power requirements.
Within our laboratories we have created a new generation of atomic sources, based on laser heating of micromachined glass elements. Early prototypes have demonstrated a range of significant advances over commercially available sources, in their compact size, power efficiency and inherent compatibility with the most demanding vacuum or cryogenic environments. In this project we will further the development and demonstration of these systems, rendering them suitable for integration with a range of next-generation commercial quantum technologies.