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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences - Optical Metrology

KACTUS

KACTUS – Kompakte Atomchiptechnologie für den Einsatz unter Schwerelosigkeit (Compact atom chip technology for microgravity applications)

M. Christ, A. Peters and M. Krutzik

 

Within the KACTUS project, we explore technologies to realize miniaturized and integrated quantum sensors prototypes, for instance by realizing Magneto-optical traps and dipole laser setups on-chip, thus combining the advantages of magnetic chip traps and optical potentials (e.g., hybrid traps) in a small volume. To achieve long lifetimes of Bose-Einstein condensates generated in these devices, the ultra-high vacuum performance is crucial. Simultaneously a minimization of the required pump speed and hence mass is of great advantage for future missions in space. This not only demands a careful choice of materials but also calls for advanced treatments and assembly techniques to achieve reduced total outgassing rates. Furthermore, caution has to be paid to the outgassing species during the preparation and bakeout process since these could cause damage to the optical components.

 

To address these challenges a versatile setup is designed at our group, allowing residual gas analysis and gas rate measurements down to  at a base pressure of . UHV qualification of optical quantum technology devices ranging from single components to medium sized assemblies () will be possible. Fast sample exchange and thus reduced set up times are realized by a UHV sample transfer system. In-situ sample preparation with simultaneous monitoring of outgassing rate and species is facilitated using UHV-compatible heating elements. This will enable the development of optimized conditioning sequences ensuring minimal contamination of optical and electronic components. Long-term measurements employing thermal cycling and variable pumping speeds will allow for effective simulation of application-driven conditions, as for example during operation on future nanosatellite mission in the QUEEN project.  Such conditions also demand long-term operation of electronic equipment in vacuum, which is realized in a part of the sample transfer system. In addition, custom gas atmospheres can be generated by a gas dosing system, which in conjunction with thermal cycling make unique lifetime studies feasible.

 

In summary our tool will enable rapid prototyping of integrated optical setups and qualification of novel as well as established assembly techniques, as for example used in the integration process for optics on microintegrated diode lasers. Combined with customizable lifetime test methods, this setup will contribute to the qualification of microintegrated optical devices for novel applications, either in compact ground-based UHV setups, in experiments on sounding rockets, or as technology demonstrators onboard small satellite missions.

 

*NEW* Bachelor/Master thesis: Miniaturized optical atom traps and UHV compatible integration technology

 

As part of our activities on miniaturized optical atom traps utilizing in-vacuum optics we are looking for highly motivated Bachelor and Master students in the fields of experimental physics, optical sciences and/or engineering.

The main task of the Master thesis is the design and assembly of a miniaturized optical cavity allowing the realization of atom traps, which are ultrahigh vacuum (UHV) compatible. For the micro-integration process of the optical cavity, suitable integration techniques are required, which have to be qualified. As part of the thesis, adhesive bonding is investigated regarding its mechanical properties and UHV compatibility.  After assembly, the cavity will be tested in an ultra-cold atom setup at Humboldt-University.

The main task of the Bachelor thesis is the test of integration technologies for miniaturized optical atom traps. Advanced micro-integration technology will be used to build test samples of adhesive bonding. These samples will then be tested regarding their mechanical properties and ultrahigh vacuum (UHV) compatibility.

A background in laser physics, spectroscopy or optical technologies is desired, a background in UHV technology is a bonus.

Please contact markus.krutzik(at)physik.hu-berlin.de