A03 - Chip-Scale Quantum Sensor

From the scope of developing a portable sensor for absolute gravimetry, superior to current devices and enabled by atom-chip based Bose-Einstein Condensate (BEC) interferometry, we derive the central questions:

  • How can we further compactify an atom-chip based gravimeter?
  • Is a single beam chip Magneto-Optical Trap (MOT) compatible with fast BEC generation and interferometry?
  • Does the compact package provide competitive performance?

Answering these questions is critical for advancing the field towards a portable, highly compact atom-chip gravimeter.

After demonstration of an interferometer topology enabling significant miniaturisation, the quest to shrink the peripherals remains. Combining the features of a single-beam 3D-MOT with BEC generation and interferometry capabilities to a single-beam atom chip would be a substantial progress. Joining grating elements for the MOT with a high quality mirror for interferometry necessitates effort to avoid compromises on the functionality of either element. A success would imply fewer optical fibres from the laser system to the sensor head. This implies a reduced complexity of the optical bench and fibre distribution system, and consequently an improved robustness, simplicity, as well as compactness. Several viewports could be omitted, simplifying the vacuum system and lifting size restrictions.

© Schubert/Herr
Ultracold atoms prepared with an atom chip are released into free fall to perform atom interferometry for measuring the gravitational acceleration. The research in A03 is focused on novel atom chips for a laboratory prototype gravimeter with a compact sensor head.


  1. developing a novel single-beam atom chip for quantum gravimetry,
  2. demonstrating state-of-the-art BEC flux on the novel chip, and 
  3. implementing a BEC gravimeter with the novel chip.


Principal Investigators

Dr. Waldemar Herr
Dr. Waldemar Herr
Dr. Christian Schubert
Dr. Christian Schubert


Albers H, Corgier R, Herbst A, Rajagopalan A, Schubert C, Vogt C et al. All-optical matter-wave lens using time-averaged potentials. Communications Physics. 2022 Mar 16;5(1). 60. doi.org/10.48550/arXiv.2109.08608, doi.org/10.1038/s42005-022-00825-2

Belenchia A, Carlesso M, Bayraktar Ö, Dequal D, Derkach I, Gasbarri G et al. Quantum physics in space. Physics reports. 2022 Mar 11;951:1-70. doi.org/10.1016/j.physrep.2021.11.004

Schubert C, Abend S, Gersemann M, Gebbe M, Schlippert D, Berg P et al. Multi-loop atomic Sagnac interferometry. Scientific Reports. 2021 Dec;11(1). 16121. doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-95334-7