MEMS devices for the control of trapped atomic particles

  • Paul JANIN

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


This thesis presents the design and characterisation of novel MEMS scanners, for use in systems involving trapped atomic particles. The scanners are manufactured using multiuser silicon-on-insulator MEMS fabrication processes and use resonant piezoelectric actuation based on aluminium nitride thin films to produce one dimensional scanning at high frequencies, with resonance tuning capabilities of up to 5 kHz. Frequencies of ~100kHz and higher are required to enable for example resonant addressing of trapped atomic particles. This work demonstrates how the 200 μm and 400 μm diameter scanners can produce optical deflection angles upwards of 2° at frequencies from 80 kHz to 400 kHz. It proposes an addressing scheme based on Lissajous scanning to steer laser pulses onto 2D grids at a scale compatible with experiments involving single trapped atoms. It also examines frequency tuning capabilities of the scanners using localized on-chip Joule heating and active cooling ; frequency tuning and synchronization are shown to be critical to the implementation of 2-dimensional scanning with multiple scanners. These features are then demonstrated in a prototype implementation using fluorescing samples as a mock target to evaluate the optical performance of the scanning system. Finally, the thesis describes a proof-of-concept for integration of the scanners in a trapped atoms experiment, in which rubidium atoms trapped inside a magneto-optical trap are selectively pumped into a fluorescing state using a beam steered by the MEMS scanners.
Date of Award24 Mar 2022
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde
SponsorsUniversity of Strathclyde
SupervisorPaul Griffin (Supervisor) & Ralf Bauer (Supervisor)

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