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Atomic, Molecular and Quantum Physics

This program supports basic atomic, molecular and quantum (AMQ) physics research to advance navigation, timekeeping and sensing technology, particularly in the maritime environment.

The AMQ program also sponsors small business innovative research (SBIR) and small business technology transfer (STTR) topics that develop enabling technologies for advanced quantum research, for example, compact or chip-based atom traps and lasers.

Research Concentration Areas

  • Novel techniques for cooling, trapping and controlling atoms, ions, molecules and small particles
  • Optical frequency standards and associated components
  • Electric and magnetic field sensors
  • Atom interferometry for robust inertial sensing

Research Challenges and Opportunities

  • Protocols for efficient atom, ion or molecule cooling and trapping. Of particular interest are techniques that are compatible with the development of compact and low power sensors and clocks, such as methods to efficiently deliver light to the particles via integration with photonic circuits.
  • Techniques for robust and/or high performance optical atomic clocks. Optical clocks have demonstrated orders of magnitude better performance than their microwave counterparts, but there is still room to improve their long term performance for geodesic applications. Protocols and systems enabling operation outside a laboratory environment are also of interest.
  • Novel approaches to quantum inertial or electromagnetic field sensing and applications thereof that have the potential to significantly outperform the state of the art. This includes electric and magnetic field sensors operating near the standard quantum limit.
  • Innovative protocols for the preparation, readout, characterization and utilization of quantum-correlated states for improved sensing. This includes the development of protocols for enhancing multi-sensor performance via distributed entanglement.

How to Submit

For detailed application and submission information for this research topic, please refer to our broad agency announcement (BAA) No. N00014-22-S-B001.

Contracts: All white papers and full proposals for contracts must be submitted through FedConnect; instructions are included in the BAA.

Grants: All white papers for grants must be submitted through FedConnect, and full proposals for grants must be submitted through; instructions are included in the BAA.


Diener, Roberto Dr.
Program Officer
Code 312