Miniaturised laser spectroscopy using additive manufacturing


Compact Spectroscopy Apparatus

using additive manufacturing


In brief

A labelled diagram of each of the components. Specific parts were used in the prototype model, details of these are available.
Fig 1: A labelled diagram of each of the components. Specific parts were used in the prototype
model, details of these are available.

A miniaturised device for performing saturated absorption spectroscopy on two lasers simultaneously. It can also produce a beat signal between one of these two lasers and a third. It provides all the spectroscopic signals required to stabilise the lasers typically used for making and studying a magneto-optical trap for Alkali atoms such as Rb, Cs and K.


Key benefits:

Considerable reductions in size, weight and cost over existing technologies

Improved stability against environmental disturbances

Turn-key device, no alignment by the operator required


This device is far smaller, cheaper and more stable than existing equivalents. The improvements are achieved by:

  • the efficient use of optical components, comprising of a minimum number of elements in the device,
  • the replacement of traditional optomechanical mounting devices with a single additively-manufactured holding structure securing all of the components,
  • the minimised optical path lengths. This  increases the ability to tolerate misalignment and reduces the importance of small beam misalignments arising from unwanted environmental disturbances (e.g. temperature changes and vibrations).



Filling Alkali atoms
Optical Input Configurations 3x SM optical fibres (polarisation maintaining)
Input Power Range 0.5 to 5 mW per beam
Supported Locks 2x current modulation, 1x optical beat
Doppler Subtraction Yes
Response Bandwidth 10 kHz (spectroscopy), 500 MHz (beat)
Temperature Stabilisation Not currently, could be added
Photodetection Silicon photodiodes
(Housing) Dimensions 112 x 33 x 66 mm
Input Fibre Termination Standard patch cable connector
Reference Cell Temperature (Max.) 40 °C (estimate)
Dimension of gas cell 25 mm dia. cylinder, 50 mm long
Electronic Outputs (BNC Sockets) Bare photodiode pins


Compact device dimensions
Fig 2: Compact device dimensions













Intellectual Property:

  • Patent published (GB2590352)
  • Technical drawings
  • .stl file



Sarah Newman - Commercialisation Officer


Download pdf

Further information


Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Sarah Newman
Commercialisation Officer (Engineering)
The University of Nottingham
Nathan Cooper
Lucia Hackermueller
Laurence Coles
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