CST Global receives £83,774 to continue GaN laser development for quantum sensing (CoolBlue2).


11 January 2018

CST Global, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sivers IMA Holdings AB and the UK’s leading, independent, III-V opto-electronic, semi-conductor foundry, will lead the government-funded, “Quantum Cooling using Mode Controlled Blue Lasers” project. The ‘CoolBlue2” project, as it is known, will be led by Dr. Thomas Slight, Research Engineer at CST Global, with support from commercial partner, Helia Photonics Ltd.; research partner, National Physical Laboratory Ltd.; and academic partners, the University of Glasgow and Aston University.

The CoolBlue2 project cost will total £499,076, with government funding of £410,209, of which CST Global will receive £83,774. CoolBlue2 will run from April 2018 to March 2019.

Dr. Thomas Slight explains the project, “CoolBlue2 is a continuation of our work in developing next-generation, GaN laser technology, for implementation in quantum sensors based on ultracold atoms. The direct, blue laser diode source we developed in the original CoolBlue project offered increased power, lower complexity and smaller size over conventional laser sources. This showed it was possible to transform quantum sensors from ‘laboratory instruments’ into miniaturized, robust systems.

“CoolBlue2 investigates the feasibility of developing a fully monolithic, narrow linewidth, GaN DFB laser. They will operate in the 4XXnm region and will be used as a source in laser cooled, quantum sensing systems, such as quantum clocks, gravimeters and magnetometers. Other applications include atomic spectroscopy, subsea communications and medical instrumentation.”

“The funding allows for two iterations of chip design and manufacture, with the aim of producing a laser suitable for evaluation in a real-world, low-cost, integrated system.”

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