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Title: Using graphene multilayers to transform the performance and functionality of atom chips for use in quantum sensors
Author: Crawford, Rosemary
ISNI:       0000 0004 8507 4235
Awarding Body: University of Nottingham
Current Institution: University of Nottingham
Date of Award: 2019
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Current atom chips, conventionally made from metal wires, suffer from anumber of different problems, which we have shown can be overcome byusing graphene conductors, specifically; •Metal wires have a large Johnson noise due to the high carrier density. Graphene has a much lower charge carrier density (≈8 orders of magnitude lower), and thus, Johnson noise that is four orders of magnitude lower than metal. This leads to a corresponding major increase in the lifetime of the atom cloud above the wire. We have shown that an atom cloud trapped 1μm above a graphene wire has its lifetime increased by around 4 orders of magnitude compared to metal, i.e from 0.1 s to > 10 minutes. This extends the Johnson noise limited lifetime so much that it becomes negligible as it is far beyond the limit imposed by the background gas collisions. •Metal wires exert a large Casimir-Polder attraction on atoms trapped near them, thereby limiting the minimum trapping distance to 10-100μm. Using a transfer matrix method in conjunction with the Lifshitz approach, we have demonstrated that the Casimir-Polder attraction between a graphene layer and an atom is approximately 50% that of the attraction between an atom and a thin gold layer. This enables atoms to be trapped up to 2 orders of magnitude closer to a graphene atom chip and so achieve sub-micron trapping distances. •Metal wires are spatially imperfect on 200 nm scales [1], which can lead to fragmented atom clouds. We have that shown that current lithography techniques can produce conducting paths of an arbitrary shape in graphene with roughness on only the≈10 nm scale. This leads to smoother traps and therefore smoother clouds even at sub-micron trapping distances. •Finally, we note that graphene will also allow for a greater degree of integration between all the different components of the cold atom system, trapping wires, Ultra High Vacuum (UHV) environments and optics,thus aiding the miniaturisation of the experimental set-up.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: QC501 Electricity and magnetism