Chip-Scale Molecular Clock: Accurate Timestamps from a Molecular Beat

Frequency synchronization and phase coherence for future communication networks pose a surging demand for low-cost, ultra-stable (on the level of 1e-10 for 1 min clock holdover), miniaturized, and power-efficient clocks. Such clocks are also critical for the reflection seismology in marine oil exploration and navigation systems under GPS-denial environment. This talk presents the principles and development of a new clock category, chip-scale molecular clock, which probes sub-THz rotational transitions of gaseous molecules for the regulation of long-term frequency drift of a crystal oscillator. The theoretical limits, engineering challenges and potential solutions will also be discussed for further practical implementations.