Alkali Vapor MEMS Cells Technology toward High-Vacuum Self-Pumping MEMS Cell for Atomic Spectroscopy

Micromachines. 2018;9(8):405 DOI 10.3390/mi9080405


Journal Homepage

Journal Title: Micromachines

ISSN: 2072-666X (Online)

Publisher: MDPI AG

LCC Subject Category: Technology: Mechanical engineering and machinery

Country of publisher: Switzerland

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF, HTML, ePUB, XML



Pawel Knapkiewicz (Wroclaw University of Science and Technology, Faculty of Microsystem Electronics and Photonics, Janiszewskiego Str. 11/17, 50-372 Wroclaw, Poland)


Blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 11 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

The high-vacuum self-pumping MEMS cell for atomic spectroscopy presented here is the result of the technological achievements of the author and the research group in which he works. A high-temperature anodic bonding process in vacuum or buffer gas atmosphere and the influence of the process on the inner gas composition inside a MEMS structure were studied. A laser-induced alkali vapor introduction method from solid-state pill-like dispenser is presented as well. The technologies mentioned above are groundbreaking achievements that have allowed the building of the first European miniature atomic clock, and they are the basis for other solutions, including high-vacuum optical MEMS. Following description of the key technologies, high-vacuum self-pumping MEMS cell construction and preliminary measurement results are reported. This unique solution makes it possible to achieve a 10−6 Torr vacuum level inside the cell in the presence of saturated rubidium vapor, paving the way to building a new class of optical reference cells for atomic spectroscopy. Because the level of vacuum is high enough, experiments with cold atoms are potentially feasible.