Additive manufacturing for quantum technologies

Research output: Non-textual formWeb publication/site

Colleges, School and Institutes


Recent advances in the understanding and control of quantum technologies, such as those based on cold atoms, have resulted in devices with extraordinary metrological sensitivities. To realise this potential outside of a lab environment the size, weight and power consumption need to be reduced. Here we demonstrate the use of laser powder bed fusion, an additive manufacturing technique, as a production technique for the components that make up quantum sensors. As a demonstration we have constructed two key components using additive manufacturing, namely magnetic shielding and vacuum chambers. The initial prototypes for magnetic shields show shielding factors within a factor of 3 of conventional approaches. The vacuum demonstrator device shows that 3D-printed titanium structures are suitable for use as vacuum chambers, with the test system reaching base pressures of $5 \pm 0.5 \times 10^{-10}$ mbar, and showing an outgassing rate indistinguishable from a commercial ConFlat flange in this pressure regime. These demonstrations show considerable promise for the use of additive manufacturing for cold atom based quantum technologies, in future enabling improved integrated structures, allowing for the reduction in size, weight and assembly complexity.

Bibliographic note

10 pages, 10 figures


Original languageEnglish
Media of outputOnline
Publication statusPublished - 19 Oct 2017


  •, physics.atom-ph, physics.ins-det, quant-ph