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Glass-Blown Spherical Microcells for Chip-Scale Atomic Devices



E. J. Eklund, A Shkel, Svenja A. Knappe, Elizabeth Donley, John Kitching


This paper presents an application of micro glass blowing, in which multiple glass spheres are simultaneously shaped on top of a silicon wafer and subsequently filled with rubidium. The fabrication process is based on etching cavities in silicon, followed by anodic bonding of a thin glass wafer to the etched silicon wafer. The bonded wafers are then heated inside a furnace at a temperature above the softening point of the glass, and due to expansion of the heated trapped gas in the cavities, the glass is blown into three-dimensional spherical cells. Microscopic alkali vapor cells are achieved by evaporation of 87Rb through a small glass nozzle into the cell cavities. The cells are then sealed by anodic bonding. The fabricated cells are characterized and the presence of rubidium vapor inside the cells is verifed by observing an absorption spectrum.
J. Sensors Actuators


chip-scale, gyroscope, MEMS, micromachining, vapor cell


Eklund, E. , Shkel, A. , Knappe, S. , Donley, E. and Kitching, J. (2008), Glass-Blown Spherical Microcells for Chip-Scale Atomic Devices, J. Sensors Actuators, [online], (Accessed July 17, 2024)


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Created May 1, 2008, Updated October 12, 2021