CORDIS - EU research results

Chip-scale Optical Atomic Clock

Project description

Next-generation atomic clocks get shrunk

Precision timing, measured with atomic clocks, is essential for global navigation satellite systems, telecommunications and other applications. The EU-funded CSOC project aims to develop the first chip-scale optical clock. The miniaturised optical clock will utilise the two-photon transition in the rubidium-85 isotope that vastly improves the signal compared to current atomic clocks relying on radiofrequency transitions. The project work will build on recent advances in Kerr soliton microcomb technology, picosecond mode-locked lasers and heterogeneously integrated on a chip as well as higher-efficiency chip frequency doublers achieved by the partners.


Optical atomic clocks are at the heart of modern technology. From time-keeping to navigation to global positioning systems. This project will develop the world’s first all optical atomic clock that is chip scale. It will create this based on recent advances in Kerr soliton micro-comb technology, ps mode locked lasers that are heterogeneously integrated on a chip, and using novel on chip frequency doublers with vastly improved efficiency. Exploiting the Rb85 two photon transition enables to obtain a clock signal that is vastly improved compared to today’s radio frequency transition based clocks. This clock can revolutionize timekeeping in both mobile, airborne or space application and used in future GPS networks such as Galileo. Moreover the underlying clockwork - a chipscale comb - can have applications ranging from distance measurements, to time and frequency metrology. This consortium brings together the leading groups in Europe in the domain of Frequency combs, micro-comb technology and photonic chipscale laser integration.


Net EU contribution
€ 971 093,75
9000 Gent

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Vlaams Gewest Prov. Oost-Vlaanderen Arr. Gent
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 971 093,75

Participants (2)

Partners (2)