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Menlo, Germany

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-IAPP | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2009-IAPP | Award Amount: 1.74M | Year: 2010

Optical frequency combs have revolutionized optical frequency metrology in just a few years. They have made it possible to directly count light field oscillations of several 100 million cycles per second. Traditionally they have been created with mode locked ultra short pulse lasers. In this project we propose to investigate frequency comb generation based on monolithic micro resonators. As recently demonstarted by the consortium they can create combs with a conveniently high mode spacing suitlable for many different applications. The scientific objective of the collaboration is to develop micro resonators based frequency combs using silica on chip micro resonators and crystalline micro resonators and test them in two applications, as a reference oscillator and as a calibration tool for spectrographs. The partners are the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (Switzerland) and Menlo Systems GmbH in Germany.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-ITN | Award Amount: 3.87M | Year: 2013

During the last decades atomic clocks and frequency standards have become an important resource for advanced economies with impact ranging from satellite navigation (GPS, GLONASS, Galileo) to high speed communication networks, where they ensure synchronisation of data packets at ever higher bit rates. In this field the wake of the new millennium has been marked by the invention of frequency comb technology, a discovery so important that it was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2005. Femtosecond comb technology enables two major advances (i) a factor of 1000 improvement in sensitivity and accuracy over current atomic clock technology and (ii) the possibility to create a precision frequency synthesizer ranging from the Hz level up to 10^17 Hz or even higher, i.e. covering the electromagnetic spectrum from DC to the soft x-ray regime. The technological impact of this current development is likely to be tremendous, opening new applications, e.g. in relativistic geodesy, where ultraprecise clocks sense the gravitational potential via the redshift arising from general relativity. This might open new markets in oil and mineral exploration, supervision of CO2 sequestration and hydrology and climate research. However the technologies associated with optical clocks and frequency standards are still in the laboratory stage and experts in the field are desperately needed for developing commercially viable systems and applications. This ITN is addressing this issue by implementing a training programme covering all aspects from the atomic reference and ultrastable lasers to frequency comb synthesis, precision frequency distribution and commercial system technology. It focuses on technological developments enhancing the technology readiness level of the new optical atomic clocks, enhancing the chance that they are picked up by the commercial sector. At this initial stage the vehicle will be space technology, which is promising the first high-precision applications.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: SPA.2010.2.2-01 | Award Amount: 2.72M | Year: 2011

A range of new applications will be enabled by ultra-precise optical clocks, some of which by using them in space, near or far distant from Earth. They cover the fields of fundamental physics (tests of General Relativity), time and frequency metrology (comparison of distant terrestrial clocks, operation of a master clock in space), geophysics (mapping of the gravitational potential of the Earth), and potential applications in astronomy (local oscillators for radio ranging and interferometry in space). We propose to (1) develop two engineering confidence ultra-precise transportable lattice optical clock demonstrators with relative frequency instability < 110-15/root(tau)1/2, inaccuracy < 510-17, one of which as a breadboard. They will be based on trapped neutral Ytterbium and Strontium atoms. Goal performance is about 1 and 2 orders better than todays best transportable clocks, in inaccuracy and instability, respectively. The two systems will be validated in a laboratory environment (TRL 4) and performance will be established by comparison with laboratory optical clocks and primary frequency standards. (2) We will develop the necessary laser systems (adapted in terms of power, linewidth, frequency stability, long-term reliability, and accuracy), atomic packages with control of systematic (magnetic fields, black-body radiation, atom number), where novel solutions with reduced space, power and mass requirements will be implemented. Some of the laser systems will be developed towards particularly high compactness and robustness. Also, crucial laser components will be tested at TRL 5 level (validation in relevant environment). The work will build on the expertise of the proposers with laboratory optical clocks, and the successful development of breadboard and transportable cold Sr and Yb atomic sources and ultrastable lasers during the ELIPS-3 ESA development project Space Optical Clocks (SOC).

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2011.9.1 | Award Amount: 2.87M | Year: 2012

Despite significant research efforts during the past 10 years, the terahertz (THz) spectral range remains vastly underexploited, owing essentially to the insufficient signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) achievable with present technology. The projects aim is to address this problem by building a new technological platform enabling the generation of high power, broad bandwidth, THz frequency combs (FCs) with a high frequency stability. The demonstration of FCs in the visible and near-IR spectral ranges has been among the main breakthroughs in the field of optics in the past decade. FCs are commonly generated by mode-locked lasers. In the frequency domain they consist of a broad spectrum of narrow lines, separated by a constant frequency interval, corresponding, in the time domain, to the repetition rate of the emitted pulse train. The time duration of the emitted pulses is roughly given by the inverse of the spectral bandwidth. Due to the lack of mode-locked lasers, FCs in the THz range are nowadays generated by inherently inefficient non-linear conversion techniques. This is the main cause for the low SNR of present THz systems. The THz FCs envisioned in this project will be based on THz quantum cascade lasers (QCLs), a novel, compact and powerful THz semiconductor laser source. THz FCs will be generated by mode-locked THz QCLs, and/or by using THz QCLs as semiconductor amplifiers. This will allow the production of FCs with average powers in excess of 10mW, with a spectral bandwidth > 1THz, and a corresponding pulse duration < 1ps. Such high power THz FCs will be combined with highly sensitive coherent detection techniques based on compact fs-fiber lasers that will be developed ad hoc in this project. The ultimate goal is the realization of an enabling THz technology, which may be adapted for a wide variety of applications in fields such as Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Medicine.

Albrecht R.,Saarland University | Bommer A.,Saarland University | Deutsch C.,Kastler-Brossel Laboratory | Deutsch C.,Menlo Systems GmbH | And 2 more authors.
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2013

We report on the coupling of a single nitrogen-vacancy (NV) center in a nanodiamond to a fiber-based microcavity at room temperature. Investigating the very same NV center inside the cavity and in free space allows us to systematically explore a regime of phonon-assisted cavity feeding. Making use of the NV center's strongly broadened emission, we realize a widely tunable, narrow band single photon source. A master equation model well reproduces our experimental results and predicts a transition into a Purcell-enhanced emission regime at low temperatures. © 2013 American Physical Society. Source

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