Quantum Research

Spectra-Physics and New Focus are leaders in tunable lasers ideal for applications in the Atomic, Molecular, and Optical (AMO) physics field, including precision spectroscopy, atomic cooling, optical clocks, microcavity resonators, and other quantum applications.

Spectra Physics Lasers for Quantum Research Applications

Quantum Encryption

Quantum entanglement is a physical phenomenon in which photon pairs are generated such that the quantum state of each photon cannot be described independently of the state of the other. It has many applications in quantum information theory including quantum cryptography. Ultrahigh quality factor (UHQ) microcavities have been emerging as a promising integrated platform for a wide range of applications from theoretical quantum physics to applied science. Pumped with a CW laser, multiple entangled photon pairs can be generated via optical parametric oscillation.

Quantum Computers

Quantum computers, tap-proof data transfer or highly sensitive sensors – quantum mechanical properties, such as superposition and entanglement, are fundamental to many of tomorrow’s technological systems. In the interdisciplinary core area of quantum information and technology, scientists at Ulm University investigate quantum physical phenomena in theory and by experimentation. The overall goal is to gain complete control over quantum systems. It is also about quantum physical effects in condensed matter, in nanostructures and in biological systems.

Novel sensors created by manipulation of individual atoms in diamonds
Figure 1. Novel sensors created by manipulation of individual atoms in diamonds
Novel sensors for use in cells are an important goal in research at Ulm University. To achieve this, scientists focus on the manipulation of individual atoms in diamonds. Prof. Fedor Jelezko, one of the world’s leading experts in controlling the smallest particles in solids - as demonstrated by the prestigious awards he has won - is involved in these research groups.

Atomic Clocks

The strontium optical lattice clock at JILA works by referencing an ultra-stable clock laser to laser-cooled and trapped strontium atoms. Strontium is one of nature’s highest-Q frequency references, with a quality factor of 1018. This clock takes advantage of the lower quantum projection noise of a manybody quantum system to achieve new records in clock precision, stability, and total systematic uncertainty. To prepare the atoms for precision spectroscopy, they are first laser-cooled using light from 461 nm blue diode lasers. Then, after a second red laser cooling stage, the atoms are loaded into an optical lattice, where they are trapped in standing waves of light. The clock laser is then used to perform coherent spectroscopy. The blue light is used again to measure the number of atoms in the ground and excited states via fluorescence. This allows us to measure the laser frequency against the atomic resonance.

Strontium Optical Lattice
Figure 2. Strontium Optical Lattice - Courtesy of Prof. Jun Ye, UC Boulder, JILA, NIST

Chip-Scale Optical Frequency Combs

Optical frequency combs are cornerstones of modern day metrology, precision spectroscopy, astronomical observations and ultrafast optics. State of the art methods to generate frequency combs in chip scale devices are based on Kerr and Raman nonlinearities in ultrahigh Q monolithic microresonators. Chee Wei Wong’s group at UCLA has demonstrated an electronic method to tune the dispersion of a silicon nitride microresonator used in comb formation, via a dual-layer ion gel gated graphene transistor fabricated on top of the cavity. This dispersion tuning is accomplished by coupling the gate-tunable optical conductivity of the graphene transistor to the intracavity field in the microresonator, while preserving cavity quality factors up to 106. With this method, charge-tunable primary comb lines from 2.3 terahertz to 7.2 terahertz, coherent Kerr frequency combs, controllable Cherenkov radiation and controllable soliton states, are all generated in a single microcavity.

A monolayer of organic molecules on the surface of
conventional UHQ microcavities allows these devices to
effectively generate frequency combs
Figure 3. A monolayer of organic molecules on the surface of conventional UHQ microcavities allows these devices to effectively generate frequency combs.

Atomic Cooling

ColdQuanta’s innovative BEC system is designed to streamline and simplify the production of ultracold atoms and BECs. At the heart of the system is the RuBECi® where rubidium atoms are cooled to temperatures of below 1 mK, trapped, and manipulated inside the vacuum cell. A New Focus Tapered Amplifier is used to provide ample power for laser cooling and manipulation of the atoms.

ColdQuanta’s innovative BEC system
Figure 4. ColdQuanta’s innovative BEC system

The New Focus Vortex™ Plus lasers and Tapered Amplifiers are employed in the JPL Cold Atoms Laboratory (CAL) science module now operating on the International Space Station (ISS), launched on May 21, 2018. The CAL science module will enable cold atom experiments in a microgravity environment with the intent to observe new quantum phenomena.

Quantum Research Lasers

Spectra-Physics and New Focus are leaders in tunable lasers ideal for applications in the Atomic, Molecular, and Optical (AMO) physics field, including precision spectroscopy, atomic cooling, optical clocks, microcavity resonators, and other quantum applications. Two types of continuous wave, tunable lasers are often used in quantum technology research: a ring laser and an external cavity diode laser (ECDL). The main criteria for selecting a laser include wavelength, power, tunable wavelength range, narrow linewidth and long term stability.

  Matisse_2
Ring Laser
Vortex
External Cavity Diode Laser
Output Power Watts Milliwatts
Tuning Range – Wide Hundreds of nm with 1 optics set ≤100 nm
Tuning Range – Fine ˜50 kHz ˜50 kHz
Linewidth As low as 30 kHz rms @ >100 msec <2.5 kHz @ 5 µsec
<200 kHz @ 50 msec
Power Stability Flatness to within 5% across 50 GHz <1%
Wavelength Stability Ultra-Stability High Stability
Fiber-Coupled Option No Yes
  Matisse 2
Matisse
Velocity
Velocity
Vortex Plus
Vortex Plus
Vortex Plu w/ Vamp
Vortex Plus with VAMP
Max Output Power >7.2 W 60 mW (free space @ 1064 nm) 70 mW (free space @ 780 & 1064 nm) >2 W (free space @ 780 nm)
Tuning Range – Wide 680-790 to 880-1038 nm (Ti:Sapphire)
550-660 to 650-760 nm (Dye)
407-412 to 2350-2450 nm 459-461 to 1520-1630 nm 765 to 915 nm
Tuning Range – Fine >50 GHz >120 GHz to >20 GHz >120 GHz to >25 GHz  
Tuning Resolution 50 kHz      
Tuning Speed   ≤20 nm/sec    
Linewidth <30 kHz rms @ > 100 msec <2.5 kHz @ 5 µsec
<200 kHz @ 50 msec
<2.5 kHz @ 5 µsec
<200 kHz @ 50 msec
Seed laser dependent
Power Stability Flatness to within 5% across 50 GHz <1% (over 1 hour ±2°C) <1% (over 1 hour ±2°C) ±1%, typical (seed laser dependent)
Wavelength Stability   2 pm (over 1 hour ±2°C) 2 pm (over 1 hour ±2°C) Seed laser dependent
Other Features Intuitive GUI Control
Mode-hop-free tuning
Fiber-Coupled Option
Mode-hop-free wide tuning
Shock-proof, thermally insulated
Magnetic damping
Fiber-Coupled Option
Mode-hop-free tuning
Magnetic damping
Safety shutoff feature at low power
Heavy housing and heat sink

CW Wavelength Extension for Matisse

Continuous wave wavelength extenders, WaveTrain® doubler and MixTrain™ frequency mixer, are available to augment the performance of the Matisse. With various configurations of Matisse, WaveTrain, and MixTrain, MKS offers an all solid state solution for wavelengths ranging from 206 nm to 4.2 µm.

WaveTrain
WaveTrain 2 Frequency Doubler
MixTrain
MixTrain Frequency Mixer
  • Frequency doubling of single-frequency CW lasers
  • Can generate the 2nd harmonic of the output of the Matisse 2
  • Input wavelength range: 410 to 1600 nm
  • Doubling efficiencies >35%
  • Sum or difference frequency mixing of single-freq CW lasers
  • Input wavelength range: 690 to 1020 nm
  • Sum output range: 422 to 670 nm
  • Difference output range: 1.1 to 4.2 µm
  • Sum frequency output power > 2W

Recommended Applications for MKS Lasers

  Matisse Velocity Vortex Plus Vortex Plus w/ VAMP
Atomic Clocks  
Atom Cooling/Trapping  
Bose-Einstein Condensates  
Frequency Combs    
Microcavity Resonators    
Quantum Computing
Quantum Cryptography
Spectroscopy

Other Related Products

For over 40 years, MKS has provided components and expertise for thousands of systems and optical applications in a variety of markets. We offer a full range of products for quantum technology research, and in particular, the neutral atom, trapped ion and photonic approaches. Check out our other product offerings to build an optical system that best fits your application.