Time and Frequency Laboratory of the Neuchâtel University


The LTF’s mission is to explore and push the frontiers in time and frequency research, optical metrology, and ultrafast science and technology.

LTF also contributes Switzerland to join in a near future the limited number of countries that actively participate to the definition of the international atomic time TAI with primary frequency standards, with the development of the unique atomic fountain clock FOCS-2 that operates with a continuous beam of cold cesium atoms.


Key competences

LTF’s key competences to achieve its research objectives are:

  • Ultrafast lasers development and analysis
  • Various frequency combs systems
  • State-of-the-art ion beam sputtering (IBS) machine for custom optics fabrication
  • Cold atoms
  • Noise/stability analysis for microwave/optical oscillators
  • Stabilisation of microwave/optical oscillators
  • Vapour cells manufacturing and characterisation
  • CPT and double resonance spectroscopy in alkali vapour cells
  • Vapour cells atomic clocks
  • Time & Frequency metrology
  • State-of-the-art reference H-maser

Swiss Centre for Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM)

Annual Report 2019

This research centre occupies the other buildings on the Neuchâtel Observatory site. In 2007, part of the Observatory’s activities were transferred to the MSRC. Its credo is:
Managing and fostering innovation to convert groundbreaking basic research into advanced processes, leading to innovative products and helping industry and society prepare for the future.

Its activities cover the following areas: Aeronautics & transportation; Biotechnology & life sciences; Information & communication technologies; Energy & building solutions; Environment; Watchmaking; Home & industrial automation; Healthcare, wellness & sport; Security & surveillance; Semiconductor industry; Space & astrophysics; Food & agriculture,…

CSEM’s success story began in the early 1980s as a result of the visionary plans of the Swiss Confederation.

Mission & Vision
Championing industrial innovation and maintaining our role as a cornerstone in the transfer of disruptive microtechnologies.

CSEM is a research and technology organization (RTO) and a public-private partnership.

Building alliances and strategic partnerships is vital to coping with the fast pace of technological innovation and product development cycles.

Start-ups or joint-ventures based on CSEM technologies contribute to the economic vitality of Switzerland and of established and emerging industries.

CSEM has been assessed and is certified as a demonstration of its commitment to best practice, efficiency, and sustainability.

87 million turnover
499 people
44 ventures
212 industrial clients