Highly Sensitive Miniature Sensors

Use quantum effects in atomic vapors

  • by CSEM SA
  • May 19, 2020
  • Highly Sensitive Miniature Sensors
    Highly Sensitive Miniature Sensors

CSEM released their 2019 Scientific and Technical Report, which contains a comprehensive selection of the technological advances made by their researchers over the past year in non-confidential research programs and projects in the strategic fields of digitalization, precision manufacturing, and sustainable energy.

In macQsimal CSEM designs, develops, miniaturizes and integrates advanced quantum-enabled sensors with great sensitivity, to measure physical observables in five key areas: magnetic fields, time, rotation, electro-magnetic radiation and gas concentration. The common core technology platform for these diverse sensors is formed by atomic vapor cells realized as integrated micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) fabricated at the wafer level.

Coordinated by CSEM, the project consortium includes leading research groups and companies who have been pioneering many of the recent advances in the field of atomic sensing and has been assembled to cover the entire knowledge chain from basic science to industrial deployment. The main objective of macQsimal is to develop five different types of miniaturized quantum sensor prototypes: optically pumped magnetometers (OPM) for brain activity imaging, atomic clocks (MAC) for networks synchronization, nuclear magnetic resonance gyroscopes (NMRG) for autonomous cars, atomic GHz/THz sensors and imagers, and lastly, Rydberg-based gas sensors. It is the ultimate goal of macQsimal to develop scientific breakthroughs for atomic quantum metrology and sensing which will establish European leadership in the industry and drive excellence in quantum technologies. macQsimal will contribute to the strategic objectives of the Quantum Technologies Flagship in the sub-domain of Sensing and Metrology. 

Quantum enhancement techniques

The choice of atomic vapor cells makes coherent quantum processes available to applications: advanced cellbased sensors optimally exploit single-particle coherence, with the potential to harness also multi-particle quantum coherence for even greater sensitivity. Fabricating such MEMS atomic vapor cells at the wafer level will allow for high-volume, high-reliability and low-cost deployment of miniaturized and integrated sensors, critical to wide-spread adoption.

Through its balanced basic and applied research concept, macQsimal will address the fundamental questions of quantum enhancement techniques such as squeezing, entanglement and quantum non-demolition measures to form a basis for scientific breakthroughs for future applications. macQsimal has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 20393.

Graduated in political sciences and international relations in Paris, Anis joined the team in early 2019. Editor for IEN Europe and the new digital magazine AI IEN, he is a new tech enthusiast. Also passionate about sports, music, cultures and languages. 

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