iSense concentrates mostly on technology suitable for the laser cooling of atoms of Rubidium, because it is the most widely used atomic species in the community. It is easy to cool and manipulate with lasers. However for specific applications, such as atomic clocks, other atomic species might be better suited. We are investigating the properties of the atom of Strontium in order to be able to integrate this species to the iSense platform at a later time.
Different atomic species have different resonance frequencies and therefore require lasers of different colours to be laser cooled. For instance our target atom, Rubidium, is resonant with red light whereas Strontium, another interesting atomic species, is resonant with blue light. We are investigating ways to extend the technology developed for red lasers to blue lasers. In particular, the semiconductor material used to design the optical chip has to be different. Little is known on how to use these materials efficiently in order to guide light.