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Laboratoire Temps-Fréquence (LTF - Time and Frequency Laboratory) was founded in February 2007 in the Institute of Physics at the University of Neuchâtel (UniNE) as a result of the transfer of the academic and applied research activities of the former Observatoire Cantonal de Neuchâtel. Its main missions are: - to pursue the research activities in time and frequency metrology inherited from its predecessor institute of Observatoire Cantonal; - to explore new research fields in optical metrology and ultra-fast laser technologies for optical frequency comb generation; - to contribute to basic teaching activities in Physics at the university of Neuchâtel.


The main research areas include compact and miniature rubidium-cell atomic clocks, optical frequency standards, primary cesium frequency standard, laser cooling of atoms, ultra-fast lasers and optical frequency combs, high-stability mid-infrared quantum cascade lasers and mid-infrared quantum cascade detectors. LTF also works on technological developments related to the use of atomic clocks in space, in particular for the second generation of microwave frequency standards for the European navigation system GALILEO as well as in relation of a future optical clock in space.


LTF-UniNE is leading laboratory in Europe for research in the field of time and frequency (T/F) metrology and has lead or participated in numerous ESA, European or national projects. It has a considerable accumulated experience in the fields of laser atomic and molecular spectroscopy, development of vapor-cell Rubidium and optical frequency standards as well as of micro-fabricated microwave atomic clocks, utilization of atomic clocks in space, development of primary cold Cs fountain clocks, realization of an all-optical microwave oscillator based on an optical frequency comb, development of optical frequency combs, laser stabilization, also on ultra-stable optical cavities, semiconductor laser characterization instrumentation developments, like compact frequency-stabilized laser heads, and their application to atomic clocks and laser cooling.

Group structure

LTF-UniNE consists of two professors (G. Mileti and T. Südmeyer) and about 20 scientific and technical collaborators. It integrates its own mechanical and electronics staff and is further supported by the technical services of the faculty of Science of the University, in particular its mechanical workshop. The activities related to the LAMA project are conducted in the group led by G. Mileti and the core team is formed by R. Matthey and F. Gruet".

More related to LAMA

In the frame of many national, European and ESA projects, LTF has realized high-resolution spectral characterization of semiconductor lasers (in particular DFBs and VCSELs) at different wavelengths in the near-infrared for applications in atomic clocks, laser cooling and interferometers. An aging laser diode test bench has been built and operates routinely and automatically for long-term aging tests of tunable laser diodes. LTF-UniNE is also equipped with a thermal vacuum chamber. Semiconductor-based laser heads and prototypes of atomic clock have already been operated under vacuum for several months without interruption. LTF-UniNE LTF-UniNE is well-equipped in particular in the fields of T/F metrology, laser characterization, frequency stabilization.