Micro-fabricated diffractive optics for quantum sensors and atomic clocks

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


This thesis describes the design, construction and experimental realisationof a cold-atom, atomic clock. Diffractive optics are used to address the size constraints of the typical laser cooling apparatus to facilitate a portable device. The design and measurement of a wide range of grating parameters, including period, duty cycle, etch depth, and coating are characterised for optimum performance in a cold-atom system. The grating magneto-optical trap (GMOT) demonstrates an atom number and temperature competitive with state-of-the-art experiments, while greatly simplifying the optical footprint. The compact nature of the GMOT facilitates proof-of-principle quantum sensing for future miniaturised atomic devices and instruments. These initial measurements include in situ magnetometry from compensating effects of homogeneous and inhomogeneous magnetic fields. Coherent population trapping was studied on the D1 line of rubidium to realise a high contrast superposition state for clock measurements. These initial clock measurements lead to the development of a microwave regime atomic clock, based on a Raman-Ramsey interrogation of the clock states. The theory and construction of this clock are discussed, with an outlook to the development and demonstration of a second generation experiment.
Date of Award8 Sept 2017
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde
SponsorsUniversity of Strathclyde & EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council)
SupervisorAidan Arnold (Supervisor) & Erling Riis (Supervisor)

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