Miniature Mercury Lamp

Researchers from the University of Illinois, along with their collaborators at Eden Park Illumination, have developed a new miniaturized lamp for uses in atomic clocks and environmental sensors. These atomic clocks are highly useful in autonomous vehicles due to the precision and accuracy they provide. While most lamps use direct electron impact, this new lamp takes advantage of atomic excitation transfer to increase the efficiency of the lamp. This process reduces the size, and therefore the cost, of producing the lamp. Utilizing smaller lamps will allow for atomic clocks to be more easily integrated into commercial vehicles. Several iterations of the Hg+ lamp have been tested and can be made as small as 0.25 cm3.