Dr James McGilligan
Department of Physics
University of Strathclyde
107 Rottenrow East
Glasgow G4 0NG
United Kingdom
Office:  John Anderson 3.08l
Phone: (+44) 141 548 5325/5322
Fax:      (+44) 141 552 2891

Quantum Technologies


I did my PhD in the EQOP group at the University of Strathclyde on the development of grating MOT technology as a foundation for a compact cold-atom clock. After my PhD studies I was awarded a Lindemann Fellowship to work at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder, Colorado in the Atomic Devices, and Instrumentation team. My two-year postdoc in the team of John Kitching focussed on the development of chip-scale cold-atom vacuum cells with simultaneous studies into demonstrating alkali-ion batteries as a viable source of vacuum regulation in portable cold-atom systems.
Following my postdoctoral research, I jointed Kelvin Nanotechnology in 2019 as a Quantum Technologist, managing projects in clocks, magnetometers, and micro-fabricated components to aid the miniaturisation of cold atom systems.
I returned to the University of Strathclyde in 2021 as a Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellow to pursue the micro-fabrication of chip-scale atomic platforms for quantum navigation, covering research topics in atomic clocks and wavelength references.


Details at Google Scholar.

  • A. Bregazzi, P.F. Griffin, A.S. Arnold, D.P. Burt, G. Martinez, R. Boudot, J. Kitching, E. Riis & J.P. McGilligan, A simple imaging solution for chip-scale laser cooling, Appl. Phys. Lett. 119, 184002 (2021).
  • R. Boudot, J.P. McGilligan, K.R. Moore, V. Maurice, G.D. Martinez, A. Hansen, E. de Clercq & J. Kitching, Enhanced observation time of magneto-optical traps using micro-machined non-evaporable getter pumps, Sci. Rep. 1016590 (2020).
  • J.P. McGilligan, K.R. Moore, A. Dellis, G.D. Martinez, E. de Clercq, P.F. Griffin, A.S. Arnold, E. Riis, R. Boudot & J. Kitching, Laser cooling in a chip-scale platform, Appl. Phys. Lett. 117, 054001 (2020).
  • J.P. McGilligan, K.R. Moore, S. Kang, R. Mott, A. Mis, C. Roper, E.A. Donley & J. Kitching, Dynamic characterization of an alkali-ion battery as a source for laser-cooled atoms, Phys. Rev. Appl. 13, 044038 (2020).
  • R. Elvin, G.W. Hoth, M. Wright, B. Lewis, J.P. McGilligan, A.S. Arnold, P.F. Griffin & E. Riis, Cold-atom clock based on a diffractive opticOpt. Express 27, 38359-38366 (2019).
  • S. Kang, K.R. Moore, J.P. McGilligan, R. Mott, A. Mis, C. Roper, E.A. Donley & J. Kitching, Magneto-optic trap using a reversible, solid-state alkali-metal source, Opt. Lett. 44, 3002-3005 (2019).
  • J.P. McGilligan, P.F. Griffin, R. Elvin, S.J. Ingleby, E. Riis & A.S. Arnold, Grating chips for quantum technologiesSci. Rep. 7, 384 (2017).
  • J.P. McGilligan, P.F. Griffin, E. Riis & A.S. Arnold, Diffraction-grating characterization for cold-atom experimentsJOSAB 33, 1271-1277 (2016).
  • J.P. Cotter, J.P. McGilligan, P.F. Griffin, I.M. Rabey, K. Docherty, E. Riis, A.S. Arnold & E.A. Hinds, Design and fabrication of diffractive atom chips for laser cooling and trappingAppl. Phys. B 122,172 (2016).
  • J.P. McGilligan, P.F. Griffin, E. Riis & A.S. Arnold, Phase-space properties of magneto-optical traps utilising micro-fabricated gratingsOpt. Express 23, 8948 (2015).