The Frequency and Quantum Metrology Laboratory, run by CI Michael Tobar, has a long history of research in precision measurement, materials characterisation, ultra-high Q-factor resonators, and the development of frequency stable, low phase noise instruments with world-class precision and performance. One such device, the Cryogenic Sapphire Oscillator, is now found in metrological laboratories around the globe, and has allowed atomic fountain clock technology to reach its ultimate performance, as well as being used in some of the most precise tests of fundamental physics ever performed. The group’s research has also led to a number of practical technologies that have been successfully patented and commercialised.
The lab offers access to two 4 K pulse-tube cryogenic systems, one 30 K system, and a BlueFors cryogen-free dilution refrigerator capable of reaching 10 mK. The lab is also well equipped with many sophisticated microwave diagnostic technologies such network analysers, synthesizers, and spectrum analysers from RF to millimetre wave frequencies. The laboratory possesses a hydrogen maser which is distributed as a frequency reference in addition to several Cryogenic Sapphire Oscillators developed in-house that allow microwave signals to be synthesized with frequency stability of better than 1 part in 1000 trillion.