A research institute based in Germany and active in metrology has developed a process for the microfabrication of multilayer atom and ion traps. Neutral and charged atoms (ions) can be stored above the trap surface by means of inhomogeneous magnetic or electric fields. One of the essential prerequisites to increase the number of controlled atoms and qubits is a microstructured trap that allows the integration of a large number of signals to be applied (e.g. by integrating microwave conductors). This is achieved by means of stacked structures, like those of a multilayer printed circuit board. The trap developed at the institute consists of a set of thick conductive layers separated from each other by a thick dielectric layer and selectively connected with each other. In principle, the number of metallic-dielectric layers is arbitrary, since each of these layers is flatten by a high-precision global planarization method. The whole process comprises only materials compatible with the stringent requirements of atom and ion traps arising from the ultra-high vacuum environment and from operation at low temperatures. Moreover, the high-frequency characteristics of these structures are excellent. The new proces allows a broad variety of geometries, functionalities and applications for microstructured atom and ion traps.
The institute is looking for licensees and technical cooperation agreements for a joint of further development into individual operating models.