Alter Technology TUV NORD LTD and Fraunhofer UK awarded further Innovate UK Grant Funding to develop miniaturised lasers for Quantum applications
Scotland-based photonics consortium to develop highly integrated frequency-stabilised diode laser and photonic modules with a step-change in functionality, performance, and form-factor for Quantum applications.
Fraunhofer UK and Alter Technology UK announced today that they have been awarded a number of Innovate UK funded grants on the development of highly integrated, small-form factor, frequency stabilised diode laser modules for a wide range of Quantum Technology applications ranging from Accelerometers, Gravimeters, Atomic Clocks and Quantum Computing. The total amount of funding across all these new projects is over £3M GBP.
Progress towards main-stream commercialisation of Quantum Technology will necessitate the development of reliable, robust, small-form-factor and highly integrated laser and photonic modules to replace the current bulky laboratory-based systems currently used. To fulfil this vision Alter Technology UK, a semiconductor packaging and test company, and Fraunhofer UK, a RTO specialised in laser system design, have partnered together to apply telecoms style packaging techniques to design and manufacture a wide range of frequency-stablised narrow linewidth diode laser modules using miniaturised and robotic precision manufacturing techniques .
Alter, and Fraunhofer have already been collaborating in this area for the past two years. The first two products from this co-operation are FLAME, a narrow linewidth diode laser module with integrated gas reference operating at a wavelength of 780nm and 852nm and REMOTE, an Extended Cavity Diode Laser module, operating at 780nm and 852nm. These products are already available to the market as Engineering Samples manufactured and sold by Alter.
These new funded projects announced today are focused on building on these previous successful projects and products and will support Alter Technology’s laser road-map in the areas of new wavelengths, increased wavelength tunability, narrower linewidths and higher powers. For example, the STREAMLINE project, where both Alter and Fraunhofer are working with Top GaN UK, will develop 422nm ECDL laser modules in a compact 14-pin Butterfly Package and will enable Sr based cold atom and quantum computing applications. The TUNAFISH project, through integration of multiple laser and optical devices and use of advanced spectroscopy techniques, will move to higher levels of tunability and narrower linewidths below 10KHz to address any Rubidium D2 transition for a multitude of cold atom based applications such as Clocks and Interferometers. Alongside Cold Quanta UK in the PICAS 2 project, both partners are developing a new state of the art laser sources to be integrated into Cold Quanta’s Photonically Integrated Cold-Atom Source and System. This system will make it much easier for System Integrators to make use of Cold Atoms in new real-world applications.
Dr Loyd McKnight at Fraunhofer CAP, said: “These funded activities provide an excellent platform for Fraunhofer CAP to support Alter Technology in the development of new high-performance, robust laser sources for quantum technologies. These sources are critical in the wider exploitation of quantum sensors and quantum computing."
Stephen Duffy, CEO of Alter Technology UK said: “Our strong belief is that Quantum Technology is going to enable new real-world disruptive applications and markets in the next few years. However, we see the current lack of a mature supply chain in terms of robust, miniaturised, and cost-effective turn-key laser technology as being an obstacle for system integrators to adopt Quantum technologies. Our clear vision is to bring our experience in semiconductor and telecom manufacturing to enable a new class of narrow linewidth laser modules that can be seamlessly integrated into Quantum Systems while meeting the SWAP-C requirements of System Integrators. This funding and partnership with Fraunhofer is an important step in that journey.”
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