Wir bieten regelmässig Master und Bachelorarbeiten in unserer Gruppe an. Wenn du in die Gebiete Quantenoptik und ultrakalte Quantengase einsteigen und diese spannenden Forschungsfelder kennenlernen möchtest, dann ist das eine ideale Möglichkeit. Im Rahmen einer Semesterarbeit kannst du erste Erfahrungen im Forschungsalltag unserer Gruppe sammeln und dabei selbständig über einen Zeitraum von ca. 3 Wochen an einem Projekt arbeiten. Die Semesterarbeit wird am Ende mit einem schriftlichen Bericht abgeschlossen. Themen für mögliche Projekte umfassen Elektronikentwicklungen, optische Aufbauten, Softwareprogrammierung, Vakuumtechnologie und vieles mehr.

Melde dich und lerne unsere Gruppe kennen, wir freuen uns von dir zu hören!
Kontakt: Tilman Esslinger

We regularly offer Master and Bachelor theses in our group. This is an ideal chance if you want to enter the field of Quantumoptics and Ultracold Quantumgases and learn more about these exiting fields. Within the framework of a Semester thesis you can get first experiences in the everyday work inside our group. For about 3 weeks, you have the opportunity to work on your own project. The semester work will be finished with a short report. Possible topics are typically electronics development, optical setups, programming, vacuum technology and more.

Do not hesitate to contact us and meet our group, we are looking forward to hearing from you!
Contact: Tilman Esslinger

10. Jul 2013

Semester thesis: Characterization of laser noise induced by an optical fiber

Frederik Lohof investigated the polarization distortion and the frequency noise of a laser induced by optical fibers. The effects have been known to be sensitive to the laboratory environment and thus it has been necessary for us to quantify them. The polarization distortion was examined by making use of various polarization optics. A high-resolution heterodyne spectroscopy was performed to resolve the phase noise of the laser behind the fiber and he successfully resolved the frequency broadening of several Hz. He also carried out the examination on a couple of fibers to characterize each of them.

12. Apr 2013

Master thesis: Towards the projection of arbitrary potentials in an ultracold Fermi gas

Dominik Husmann tested the imaging quality of several light sources of differing coherence categories in a diffraction limited system. By illuminating a binary transmissive mask, structures on the scale of the diffraction limit were projected and imaged in a test setup simulating the microscope system in the Lithium experiment. The quality of the structures showed strong dependences on spatial and temporal coherence properties of the illuminating light, especially in terms of the sensibility to defects in the optical path. Such a projective setup can be used to create arbitrary potentials in the channel recently realized in the Lithium transport experiment. The results classify the different light sources in terms of their suitability for the implementation in the Lithium experiment. Additionally the transport properties through several channel potentials were simulated numerically. The results are a step forward to probing mesoscopic transport phenomena in cold atoms systems in order to simulate analogous transport phenomena of electrons in solids.

20. Feb 2013

Master thesis: Engineering artificial gauge fields in time-modulated optical lattices

Martin Lebrat looked at practical ways to generate articial gauge fields in an optical lattice by modulating its potential or subjecting it to a homogeneous force in a time-periodic manner. Numerical simulations confirm that modulations that break time-reversal symmetry may renormalize tunnel couplings which can take on complex values; in turn, their phase can be understood as the gain of an Aharonov-Bohm phase under a fictitious magnetic field while hopping between lattice sites. On the experimental side, such modulations could be produced using electro-optic modulators or piezo-electric plates, whose dynamical behavior was also characterised. In the 2D honeycomb lattice similar to graphene) which we can simulate here in the Quantum Optics group, this will facilitate the implementation of the celebrated Haldane model exhibiting a topological transition between different quantum Hall phases under a staggered magnetic field. The observation of such phases would be a great step towards the simulation of topological insulators with cold atoms.

22. Dec 2012

Semester Thesis: Characterization of a DFB laser diode

Christian Zosel characterized a DFB laser diode with respect to its applicability in quantum optics experiments. In distributed feedback (DFB) laser diodes, the frequency selection is realized with a Bragg grating inside the active layer of the diode. This design is very robust and offers good mechanical stability, since there is no external element. DFB diodes are tunable via laser current and temperature and have a typical linewidth of 1-4 MHz. In addition, they are cheaper than extended cavity diode lasers. The characterization included stabilizing the laser frequency to an atomic transition (spectroscopy lock) and to an external reference signal (offset lock). Furthermore, the phase response of the entire laser system was studied to assess the possibility of setting up a phase locked loop.

22. Oct 2012

Semester Thesis: Stability Measurements of a Tapered Amplifier

Karin Fisher has investigated how fluctuations in temperature and seed power as well as mechanical deformations affect the output of a tapered amplifier. Tapered amplifiers are an important tool in the field of ultracold atoms as they enable the amplification of coherent laser light to higher powers for applications such magneto-optical traps. The dependence of output power on temperature shows a reproducible threshold behaviour, which could be identified as the crucial factor currently limiting the stability of tapered amplifiers. 

27. Sep 2012

Semester Thesis: Shaping optical lattice potentials with an electro-optical modulator

Martin Lebrat has finished his semester thesis! 

Modulating an optical lattice periodically in time could help implement new kinds of effective Hamiltonians that are not accessible by simply tweaking the static parameters of the potential. In this semester thesis, we explore a new way to shape the potential landscape of an optical lattice by introducing an intensity mismatch between the counter-propagating beams that make it up, and study what band structures and tunnel couplings such new potentials yield. A practical solution to create the desired mismatch would be to manipulate the polarisations of the beams with electro-optic modulators; lithium niobate based modulators have been modelled and tested in a small scale setup.

1. Aug 2012

IPA / LAP: Assembly of DDS RF Synthesisers and Design of Firmware

Tobias Kittelmann took the chance to do his IPA / LAP in our group. The project  consists of a modular  DDS Synthesiser. Using modern layout tools, a printed circuit board had to be designed. Assembly as well as debugging the board led to the design of the firmware. Some sophisticated subroutines even allow the self calibration of the device. Ethernet capability as well as lock on external 10 MHz make this a handy and useful device.

9. Jul 2012

Semester Thesis: Envico - Control and logging of environmental parameters via ethernet

Florian Vogelbacher designed and implemented a complete hard- and software framework to measure in a flexible way environmental parameters like temperature, humidity or water flow in our laboratories. The acquired data is stored via ethernet on a Xymon/hobbit monitoring and database system, able to send out alarm messages via sms and email if parameters are out of a specified range.

17. Jun 2012

Semester Thesis: Control Device for a tunable lens

Samuel Häusler developed a control device to steer a tunable optical lens with which we want to manipulate ultracold atoms. His design is based on a mbed microcontroller which stores the calibration curves of the lenses and implements a PID-feedback loop regulating the current fed to the lens.

1. Feb 2012

Master Thesis: Development of a Beam Profiler and Design of Optocouplers

Matthias Bucher developed a C++ software to perform live characterizations of laser beams using inexpensive and small CCD cameras from PointGrey. The software allows for fitting the laser beam intensity profile and tracking of the beam position.
Additionally, new digital and analog optocouplers have been constructed and characterized during the course of the thesis.

11. Jul 2011

Semester Thesis: Characterization of a motorized iris

Arne Hansen finished his Semester thesis!

We explored a possibility to continuously change the trap frequencies of an optical tweezer in order to control the Fermi energy of trapped Lithium atoms. To this end, a motorized iris was characterized with respect to intensity noise and changes in shape of the propagating beam. The measurements show no severe disturbance of the optical tweezer.

23. May 2011

Semester Thesis: Characterization of a digital PID controller

Pirmin Weigele finished his Semester thesis!

A digital PID controller was characterized and compared to an analog PID controller. To this end a diode laser was stabilized to an atomic transition using a frequency modulation spectroscopy and one of the PID controllers. Several settings of the PID controllers were tested and the frequency fluctuations of the laser were recorded with the according locks.

15. Apr 2011

Semester Thesis: Isotope shift and hyper fine splitting of the 4s - 5p transition in potassium

Alexandra Behrle finished her Semester thesis in the group of Dr. Michael Koehl at University of Cambridge, UK!

The dependence of optical transition frequencies between electronic states in atoms on the properties of the nucleus is among the most frequently investigated questions in laser spectroscopy. We have measured the hyperfi ne splitting of the 5P1/2 state of 40K and determined the isotope shift of the 4S1/2 -> 5P1/2 transition, exceeding the previously achieved accuracy for the low-abundance isotope 40K by one order of magnitude. Our results contribute to determining the atomic structure of potassium more accurately.

10. Apr 2011

Semester Thesis: Deterministic generation of Schrodinger cats in a Bose-Einstein condensate placed in a cavity

Generation of atom-light entanglement

Laura Corman finished her Semester thesis!

In this semester project, the possibility to create Schrödinger cats (or macroscopic superposition of states) in an experimental setup consisting in a Bose-Einstein condensate pumped with a side laser and put in a cavity is investigated. As this system has been proven to realize the Dicke Hamiltonian, this Hamiltonian is studied in particular, but only on timescales on which dissipation - mostly induced by the cavity - is negligible. In addition, the various orders of magnitude of the experimental parameters allows for simplifications that lead to precise conditions to create Schrödinger cats.

23. Sep 2010

Semester Thesis: Implemention of a PID Control on an FPGA to Spatially Stabilize a Laser Beam

Casing with hardware inside

Matthias Bucher finished his Semester thesis!

We have set up a PID control for spatially stabilizing a laser beam using a field programmable gate array (FPGA) by National Instruments. The programming language used was LabVIEW9 SP1. Jitter and drifts of the laser beam were effectively reduced by a factor of about 10, confining the remaining oscillations to an interval of roughly 2 μm around the intended center.

1. Aug 2010

Semester Thesis: Developing a mechanical shutter for optical experiments

The final shutter design

Frieder Lindenfelser finished his Semester thesis!

To reach ultra low temperatures atoms can be cooled using laser-light. Usually this cooling happens in two stages: The atoms are slowed down by the optical Doppler effect, and then evaporatively cooled in a dipole trap. Switching between these two stages means blocking one set of laser-beams, and letting pass another within some microseconds, so the atoms will not get lost. This is one possible application among many, for which a mechanical shutter was developed.

17. Jun 2010

Bachelor Thesis: Magneto-Optical Traps for a Second Generation Optical Lattice Experiment

Potassium atoms in the MOT

Thomas Gersdorf finished his Bachelor thesis!

This work focuses on the implementation and the testing of a laser setup for magneto - optical traps (MOTs) for potassium atoms. Two different types of MOTs, namely a 2D and a 3D MOT, will be used for the initial trapping and cooling of 40K and 39K atoms in a second generation optical lattice experiment which is currently being set-up in the Quantum Optics group at ETH Zurich.

Using components developed and pre-aligned in previous work, the laser set-up has been completed and optimized for stable and continuous operation. A new design for eletro-optic modulators (EOMs) has been developed as part of this procedure. This new modulator design works with high efficiency even at modulation frequencies above 1 GHz and may be used in future experiments requiring EOMs with these high modulation frequencies.

The laser setup is now ready to be used in the new experiment for MOTs with 39K and 40K. Its proper operation has been demonstrated in this work by loading 39K from a cold atomic beam generated in the 2D MOT into the 3D MOT. Furthermore, the system was optimized such that a successful MOT operation can be achieved within less than half an hour after switching on the system without any additional tweaking.