Joint Labs and Integrated Quantum Technology

Is it possible to challenge Einstein’s Equivalence Principle with ultra-cold atoms in space? In order to help addressing questions that focus on fundamental physics topics, the first Joint Lab focusing on quantum technology was established at FBH in 2008, then under the name of Joint Lab Laser Metrology.

  • Multi-section laser chips on C-Mounts
    [+] Multi-section laser chips on C-Mounts, used in macro setups and for tests
  • Master oscillator power amplifier for quantum optics experiments on ultra-cold rubidium atoms.
    [+] Master oscillator power amplifier for quantum optics experiments on ultra-cold rubidium atoms. On January 23, 2017, laser modules of this type where used within the MAIUS mission of German Aerospace Center DLR to realize, for the first time ever, a Bose-Einstein condensate in space, on board a sounding rocket
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  • Extended cavity diode laser with integrated semiconductor optical amplifier.
    [+] Extended cavity diode laser with integrated semiconductor optical amplifier. On May 13, 2018, a laser module of this type was used in the JoKaRUS experiment of German Aerospace Center DLR to realize the first iodine-based precision optical frequency reference in space, on board a sounding rocket.
  • Fiber-coupled rubidium laser module used for the FOKUS experiment
    [+] Fiber-coupled rubidium laser module used for the FOKUS experiment on TEXUS51 rocket in space
  • Miniaturized laser systems and optical payloads developed for operation in space.
    [+] Miniaturized laser systems and optical payloads developed for operation in space. Amongst others, we demonstrated compact and robust optical frequency standards as pathfinder technology for future use in global satellite navigation systems

The co-operation with the academic partners at Humboldt University provides the framework for combining the complementary expertise of both parties, i.e., III-V semiconductor lasers and related technology as well as hybrid micro-integration at FBH on one side and precision optics and (fundamental) quantum optics research at the Humboldt-University on the other.

Quantum optics applications and laser metrology pose high demands on laser performance, for example, on optical output power, power and frequency stability, beam quality, compactness, and reliability. Applications driven by quantum optics and laser metrology therefore play the role of a technology driver for the development of semiconductor-based opto-electronic components and devices and can help steering the technology development roadmap at FBH. In turn, quantum optics and fundamental physics experiments benefit from the progress made in the technology development for opto-electronic components and devices. For example, hybrid micro-integration of diode lasers by FBH enabled the first demonstration of a Bose-Einstein-Condensate in Space in 2017. [D. Becker, et al., Space-borne Bose-Einstein condensation for precision interferometry, Nature, vol. 562, no. 7727, pp. 391-395 (2018)].