James  Quigley

James Quigley

Scholar Title

MIT EECS | Advanced Micro Devices Undergraduate Research and Innovation Scholar

Research Title

Molecular Clock: Ultra-Stable Frequency Reference on a CMOS Chip





Research Areas
  • Devices

Ruonan Han


The nature of polar gas molecules is such that they have narrow and stable transition lines in the sub-Terahertz ranges. We can capitalize on this by determining the frequencies of these lines using a CMOS silicon chip. In doing so, we can build a molecular clock that is comparable to an atomic clock in that it provides a highly stable output frequency. The overall goal of the project is to create a CMOS-based, magnetic-shield/heater-free molecular clock with high energy efficiency and sub-ppb overall stability. The idea is to make a very affordable clock with great accuracy that can be put into things such as mobile phones. My goal is to have a functional unit by the end of the year such that it can maintain performance despite environmental temperature effects.


“I want to participate in SuperUROP because I have found myself completely in love with circuitry and design. After classes like 6.002 (Circuits and Electronics) and 6.012 (Nanoelectronics and Computing Systems), plus my summer UROP in the Mechatronics lab, I know that working in electronics is what I want to do. Furthermore, this project’s use of THz frequencies excites me to my core, I’ve always wanted to be on the forefront of something in technology. This is my chance to be there.”

Back to Scholars