A quantum leap
Quantum technologies (QT) are set to have a profound impact on society, equipping us with better sensors, more powerful computers and more accurate timekeeping devices.
To realise these benefits, the devices must first become smaller, lighter and more power efficient, enabling a move out of the laboratory and into everyday life.
Our team at Added Scientific, a University of Nottingham spinout company, has been working to overcome these challenges using additive manufacturing (AM).
We provide expert commercial research and development for companies looking to push the boundaries of AM.
Our ultimate goal is to commercialise the research carried out at the University and take a step towards readying products for market.
"Our ultimate goal is to commercialise the research carried out at the University and take a step towards readying products for market."
In this case, we used our combined knowledge of processing aluminium alloy (AlSi10Mg) to create a lightweighted experimental chamber, capable of sustaining an ultra-high vacuum (UHV). The high silicon content in this alloy reduces the strain levels within the molten material and reduces the likelihood of cracking which would otherwise potentially allow air to leak at the joints. This is the first time an AM part has been used to successfully hold an UHV.
Not only have we proven the capability of AM for quantum products, we have also paved the way for revolutionising how other high-value components and scientific instruments are made.
Sarah Everton is a Research Engineer at Added Scientific, a University spinout company.