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RAP Lab Opportunities at NIST

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Opportunity at National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Microfabricated Atomic Clocks and Magnetometers


Physical Measurement Laboratory, Time and Frequency Division

RO# Location
50.68.82.B5924 Boulder, CO

Please note: This Agency only participates in the February and August reviews.


Name E-mail Phone
Kitching, John E. kitching@boulder.nist.gov 303.497.4083


The combination of MEMS microfabrication processes and precision spectroscopy is opening the door to highly precise instruments and sensors that are also very small and dissipate very little power. The chip-scale atomic clock, first demonstrated at NIST in 2004, is an excellent example. Highly miniaturized, low-power atomic frequency references are likely to open new avenues for application of atomically precise timing in portable, battery-operated technologies. In this project, MEMS microfabrication processes are used to construct millimeter-scale atomic instruments with sensitivities and stabilities orders of magnitude lower than can be achieved in other devices of comparable size. Devices such as clocks, magnetometers, and atom interferometer accelerometers and gyroscopes are designed, fabricated, and tested at NIST with regard to precision and power dissipation. In addition to the development of such instruments, a number of applications are being addressed including the use of atomic magnetometry in low-field nuclear magnetic resonance and biomagnetic imaging.


Atom; Atomic clocks; Frequency standards; Gyroscope; Laser; Magnetometry; MEMS; Micromachining; Optical coherence; Spectroscopy;


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Regular applicants
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