Future research...

Micro-stabilized lasers

Laser cooling and manipulation of atoms requires highly stable and spectrally pure lasers. Typically for a Rubidium MOT one requires tens of mW of laser power at 780nm, which is stablized to within a MHz (1 part in 109). Not only that, but the lasers may need to be phase modulated at several GHz, detuned for further cooling and optical pumping, as well as being switched on and off in microsecond timescales. The manipulation lasers (e.g. Raman, or optical dipole trap, lasers) require even more power and more stringent control over frequency, phase and amplitude. Commercial cold atoms devices will need to do all of this in far more compact form with greater reliability and plug'n'play interfaces. The laser chips themselves are very small (mm) and a majority of the control optoelectronics and spectrometers can be significantly reduced in size using optical waveguides and fibres. The development in miniaturization and reliability of similar laser systems has already be carried out by the Telecoms industry to make the internet possible, so we aim to adapt their systems and techniques to the shorter wavelengths used in laser cooling.

A few interesting articles from the literature (and in no ways comprehensive):