This project will develop a novel, extremely high precision, low energy, all-optical timekeeping methodology, and a timekeeper device with epsilon near zero (ENZ) metamaterials.


Accurate time interval measurements and synchronization between two or more pulses are highly desirable in different fields of science and technology. Electronic components-based approaches such as time-to-digital converter (TDC) cannot precisely measure the time difference between two events precisely below two-digit picosecond scale. In addition, high-speed electronics and electronic interpolation induce large drift over long times. To overcome these limitations, we must move forward from electrical interpolation to all-optical time interpolation.


Our goal is to achieve the higher time precession at the femtosecond (fs) scale and even attosecond (as) along with minimized drift for future applications in large-scale networks and navigation. We also aim to realize all-optical time-to-frequency converters and optical switches that can be used to realize low-cost, high-resolution time-interval counters and optical gates.


TIMEKEEPER will enable all-optical technology to measure the time interval at the femtosecond scale, limiting the use of expensive electronic components and minimizing drift.


We thank European Research Council for the Proof of Concept grant.

Partners and Advisory Board members

Mikko Pitkänen (Propellerhat Management) and Juho Rissanen (BrainStormCorner) for market analysis, commercial applications, and business development.

Propellerhat Management Ltd, based in Jyväskylä, Finland, offers coaching and services for businesses and teams looking to improve their innovation performance, co-creation for strategy, project planning, and innovation funding.

BrainStormCorner, a think-tank business based in Tampere, Finland, helps people turn ideas into real businesses. BrainStormCorner works with entrepreneurs, startups, scientists, and professionals to create new products and services, and to commercialize research results. A venture creation funnel from early to advanced stages of business. The services are available in multiple languages.

Dr. Thomas Fordell, Senior Scientist,  VTT MIKES Metrologia, Finland

Dr. Kemal Safak, Head of Timing Technology at  Cycle GmbH (Cycle Laser) Germany