An easy-to-use quantum sensor laser platform

The FBH project smartLC is a part of the collaborative project AI-ARTIQ, jointly pursued by industry partners QUARTIQ GmbH and Creotech Instruments SA, the University of Warsaw and FBH. The objective of AI-ARTIQ is to research, develop, demonstrate, and evaluate a general industry-grade control platform for laser sources and atom interferometer-based quantum sensors. This platform will be tested in the specific quantum technology application of manipulating neutral, ultra-cold potassium atoms in an atom interferometer setup at the University of Warsaw.

Concept of the laser module developed for smartLC.
Control concept for the laser module providing easy integration and easy-to-use operation even for the non-expert user: preliminary board level overview (© QUARTIQ).

Within the project smartLC FBH focuses on a smart, hybrid micro-integrated laser system for quantum sensor applications. The main goal is a system which enables a non-laser expert user to operate the laser system as a black box, i.e. without in-depth understanding of the physical functioning of a laser. The specific objectives of the project are:

  • The research, development, and implementation of a narrow-linewidth, hybrid micro-integrated diode laser module for generation of laser cooling light for potassium atoms used in the atom interferometer. This compact and robust laser module consists of a narrow-linewidth extended cavity diode laser (ECDL) and a semiconductor optical amplifier.
  • The research, development, and implementation of a simple, compact and robust optical frequency reference and spectrometer for frequency control of the laser and determination of an unknown optical frequency. The optical frequency reference is based on a highly diffractive Bragg grating.
  • The research and development of procedures for laser module operation as well as tuning and control algorithms. The control algorithms ensure laser operation at application-specific performance parameters (e.g., optical frequency, optical output power, …) by appropriately adjusting the injection currents into the active semiconductor components and the temperatures of active and passive components. The implementation into dedicated control hardware and software will be carried out by our AI-ARTIQ project partners QUARTIQ and Creotech Instruments.

This work is supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) of the European Union and administrated by the Investitionsbank Berlin within the Program to Promote Research, Innovation, and Technologies (ProFIT) under grant 10168115