Microfabricated Ion Frequency Standard

Technology Area
Quantum sensing

A microfabricated ion frequency standard (i.e. an ion clock) is disclosed with a permanently-sealed vacuum package containing a source of ytterbium (Yb) ions and an octupole ion trap. The source of Yb ions is a micro-hotplate which generates Yb atoms which are then ionized by a ultraviolet light-emitting diode or a field-emission electron source. The octupole ion trap, which confines the Yb ions, is formed from suspended electrodes on a number of stacked-up substrates. A microwave source excites a ground-state transition frequency of the Yb ions, with a frequency-doubled verticalexternal- cavity laser (VECSEL) then exciting the Yb ions up to an excited state to produce fluorescent light which is used to tune the microwave source to the groundstate transition frequency, with the microwave source providing a precise frequencyoutput for the ion clock.

Patent or Application Number
Issuance / Grant Date
Lead Licensing Institution
Sandia National Laboratories
IP was generated with QSA funds
Point of Contact
David Wick
Entity Account Email Address