Quantum Technologies is a broad term used to describe the instrumentation that is being developed from the state‐of‐the‐art quantum physics R&D and precise electronics engineering.
Applications of these technologies range from secure communications (such as for financial transactions or defence & security) and data storage, medical diagnostics, magnetic sensors, gravity sensors, quantum computing and new frequency standards. Whilst some of these are closer to market then others, the quantum technologies revolution requires the development of a suite of new instrumentation and underpinning products before commercial applications can be realised.
Two of the key technologies in the quantum technology sector are optical lattice clocks and atom interferometers (cold atom technology). Optical clocks for instance use lasers to cool, trap and interrogate the atoms and can provide accuracies far beyond the current state of the art microwave clocks and have the ability to push even further with advances in optical technologies.
A key component of optical clocks are lasers as they are required for the trapping, cooling and interrogation of the atoms. Optical clocks can be formed around a variety of confined reference isotopes (Such as Rb, Sr, Cs, Yb, Al, Mg) and each has its own set of laser wavelength requirements. This leads to a large number of new laser wavelengths being required in suitable packaging and embodiments which are fit for use in commercial systems and not for research alone.