Ultra Precise Interferometric Force Detection

Ultra Precise Interferometric Force Detection

by tracking the displacement in Kibble Balance devices

To set universally valid measurement standards, most units are calibrated against natural constants. In reference to weight, this calibration was based on a small platinum cylinder safely stored in Paris called “Le Grand K” or “urkilogram” weighing exactly 1kg – until 2019. As scientists measured a significant (50 µg) inaccuracy over the years the reference standard for weight was changed to a natural constant (Planck constant) as well.

The reference can be utilized by using extremely accurate Kibble balances (such as the NIST-4 Kibble balance) located in large vacuum chambers in dedicated laboratories. To get objects calibrated against this standard, researchers and manufacturers need to physically send their objects to these laboratories.

To simplify this process, NIST researchers launched the ‘Mass Revolution’ project which aims to revolutionize the calibration procedure by providing small, yet highly accurate table-top Kibble balances. These devices – as their bigger counterparts – measure the force based on the displacement of the balance. To make this technology available to a broader public, miniaturized, cost-effective, and nano-precise displacement sensors are prerequisite.

attocube's solution

attocube´s interferometer sensor IDS3010 offers nanoprecise displacement measurement and the miniaturized sensor heads allow straightforward integration even into space confined setups. The fiber based and modular approach allows measurement over a broad motion range, on various surfaces and even in vacuum conditions.


Displacement Sensor IDS3010

displacement sensors, ids

Control Unit
  • nanometer precision & certified accuracy
  • wide range of interfaces (real-time)
  • 10 MHz measurement bandwidth
Sensor Heads
  • miniaturized senor heads
  • compatible with various targets and material
  • vacuum compatible