UK Supply cHAin for stRontium clocK Vertical External Cavity Surface Emitting Lasers (UK-SHARK-VECSELs)

Lead Participant: Iii-V Epi Limited


Lasers are the light engines required for all quantum technologies based on ultra-cold atoms. They are also very often the major contributor to the size, weight, power consumption, and cost of a quantum system. For this reason, significant effort is being undertaken worldwide to develop novel compact laser sources capable of the same high performance as the existing laboratory-bound lasers required for atom cooling. A leading candidate for strontium-atom-based optical clocks, as required for next-generation quantum timing applications, is vertical-external cavity surface-emitting laser technology (VECSELs). With VECSEL technology we are able to design the lasers to operate at almost any wavelength from the ultraviolet to the midinfrared with high brightness, while simultaneously achieving the very low frequency and intensity noise demanded for quantum applications. Pre-prototypes of such lasers have been successfully delivered by the Strathclyde group under the National Quantum Technology Hub for Sensing and Timing, achieving world-record VECSEL performance and initial demonstrations of strontium atom cooling at the Midlands Ultracold Atom Research Centre. With this new partnership with III-V Epi Ltd, they will transfer their expertise in visible VECSELs and initiate a UK industry supply of highly specialised semiconductor wafers. Supported by this Germinator Project, III-V Epi Ltd will fabricate VECSEL gain structures for the first time and the Strathclyde group will provide fast feedback into an aggressive fabrication and testing campaign for iterative optimisation. This will enable III-V Epi Ltd to demonstrate this unique capability to their target customers in commercial quantum technology.

Lead Participant

Project Cost

Grant Offer

Iii-V Epi Limited £29,700 £ 29,700


University of Strathclyde, United Kingdom £19,518 £ 19,518


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