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Atomic Devices and Instrumentation Group

Designs, builds, and characterizes innovative miniature instruments and sensors using precision atomic spectroscopy, advanced semiconductor lasers and micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS).

Instruments based on spectroscopy of atoms in the vapor phase, such as atomic clocks, atomic wavelength references, atom interferometers and atomic magnetometers, currently achieve outstanding levels of precision and sensitivity. However, most of these instruments are too large and complex to be operated easily outside the laboratory. Our group designs, builds and tests highly miniaturized versions of these instruments using innovative application of techniques of micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS).

A recent review paper describes work worldwide on chip-scale atomic devices: J. Kitching, "Chip Scale Atomic Devices," Applied Physics Reviews, vol. 5, p. 031302, 2018.

News and Updates

Projects and Programs

Compact Cold Atom Instruments

The cooling of atoms to microkelvin temperatures using lasers is currently enabling a new generation of precision instruments that take advantage of the long

NIST-on-a-Chip in ADI

We are developing core technology tools to enable chip-scale standards that realize a broad range of base and derived SI units in compact, manufacturable

Publications

Developing Next-generation Brain Sensing Technologies - A Review

Author(s)
Jacob T. Robinson, Eric Pohlmeyer, Malte C. Gather, Caleb Kemere, John E. Kitching, George G. Malliaras, Adam Marblestone, Kenneth L. Shepard, Thomas Stieglitz, Chong Xie
Advances in sensing technology raise the possibility of creating neural interfaces that can more effectively restore or repair neural function and reveal

A Cold-Atom Beam Clock, based on Coherent Population Trapping

Author(s)
John D. Elgin, Thomas P. Heavner, John E. Kitching, Elizabeth A. Donley, Jayson Denney, Evan Salim
We present results from a novel atomic clock which employs a beam of cold 87 Rb atoms and spatially separated (Ramsey) coherent population trapping

Magneto-optic trap using a reversible, solid-state alkali-metal source

Author(s)
Songbai Kang, Kaitlin R. Moore, James P. McGilligan, R. Mott, A. Mis, C. Roper, Elizabeth A. Donley, John E. Kitching
Fast, reversible, and low-power alkali-atom sources are desirable in both tabletop and portable cold-atom sensors. Here we demonstrate a magneto-optic trap (MOT

Awards

2016 Rabi Award - John Kitching

The Rabi Award is to recognize outstanding contributions related to the fields of atomic and molecular frequency standards, and time...

2016 APS Fellow - John Kitching

The criterion for election is exceptional contributions to the physics enterprise; e.g., outstanding physics research, important...

POSTDOC AND STUDENT OPPORTUNITIES

Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF): Summer program at NIST-Boulder for undergraduates in science, engineering, and mathematics. The application deadline is February 15 annually.

Postdoctoral, Visiting Scientist, and Graduate Positions: Our group has periodic openings for Postdoctoral Fellows, Visiting Scientists, and Graduate Students. Please contact us for more information.

Contacts

Group Leader

Project Leaders