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Quantum applications

Special Techniques has developed proprietary methods of diffusion bonding a wide range of materials. Our diffusion bonded windows are ideal for the demanding applications required in quantum systems.

Special Techniques Group Quantum Applications

Laser cooling

For quantum applications, lasers are an essential component, whether it is to manipulate the atom or cool it to the incredibly cold temperatures that are required.

A key principle in laser cooling is that light carries momentum. If an atom moving in one direction absorbs a photon moving in the opposite direction, the momentum is transferred to the atom and it slows down. As atoms can move in 3 dimensions, six lasers are required – one from each side of the x, y and z axes.

Laser cooling can bring atoms to microkelvin temperatures, millionths of a degree above absolute zero. The atoms are kept in an ultra-high vacuum so the lasers used need to access the vacuum chamber.


Special Techniques Group offers bespoke optical viewports, fabricated by diffusion bonding, that are suitable for many demanding ultra-high vacuum cryogenic applications. This makes them ideal for cold atom science and quantum system research and development. Our non-magnetic, ultra-thin windows can be precisely positioned and have features that include:

  • Low distortion
  • High numerical aperture
  • High bake out temperatures

Key technical specifications

Feature Typical Options
Structural Materials
  • Stainless steel 316
  • Titanium
  • Inconel 625
Optical Materials
  • Glass
  • Crystal quartz
  • Fused silica
  • Sapphire
  • Diamond
Geometry Up to 300 x 300 x 300mm. Larger assemblies can be considered
Coatings Any standard industry option
Bake Out Temperature 250°C. Higher temperatures are possible
Surface Finish Based on customer preferences e.g. electropolishing
Optical Flatness / Transmitted Wavefront Error (TWE) Lambda/8 – Lambda/10
Optical Parallelism (tilt) < 10 arc seconds
Optical Polish 20/10 to 80/50 scratch/dig

For more information, contact

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