Hollow-core fiber atom guide for quantum devices

A wide range of applications in quantum technology are based on atoms, ions, or molecules, most prominently in the fields of quantum computation, simulation, and sensing. This includes ion trap and neutral-atom quantum computers and simulators, fiber-based cavities surrounding atoms or ions for quantum communication, quantum sensors for electric and magnetic fields or gravity, and many more. In most contemporary experiments, the sensing/computation region coincides with or is in close proximity to the region used for preparation of the laser-cooled atoms or ions. Their production usually requires a hot oven section, strong magnetic fields, large numerical aperture optical access, and strong laser fields. All these severely impact the performance of the sensing/computation region, leading to larger device footprints requirements and necessity of active mitigation techniques.
In this project, we will develop an atoms-on-demand delivery infrastructure, widely suitable for the sensing, simulation and computation applications of today and scaled-up devices of tomorrow.
Our approach is based on optical guiding of laser-cooled atoms in hollow-core photonic crystal fibers (HCFs). Here, we target three specific use cases:
(1) loading of cryogenic surface electrode ion traps for quantum computation;
(2) feeding of atomic clocks for precise timekeeping, network synchronization purposes, and relativistic levelling;
(3) quantum sensing applications that employ laser-cooled atoms.
QuantumGuide has the ambitious goal to turn the scientific experiment of guiding atoms through a hollow-core fiber into a standardized tool for use in quantum technologies – much like how fiberized laser sources have become an integral part of today’s research setups in academia and industry.



  • Coordinator: Simon Stellmer (University of Bonn, DE)
  • Thomas Halfmann (Technische Universität Darmstadt, DE)
  • Thomas Monz (Alpine Quantum Technologies, AT)
  • Michal Zawada (Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, PL)
  • Cornelius Hempel (Paul Scherrer Institute, CH)


Call year

Call 2021

Call topic

Applied Quantum Science

Area of research

Quantum computation

Start date

June 2022


36 months

Funding support

€ 1 422 180

Project status

In Progress