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Experiments on a semiconductor laser pumped rubidium atomic clock

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2 Author(s)
Hashimoto, M. ; Tokyo Institute of Technology, Kanagawa, Japan ; Ohtsu, Motoichi

Experiments were carried out to evaluate the performances of a semiconductor laser pumped rubidium (87Rb) atomic clock. Two kinds of Rb gas cells were used and their performances were compared [gas cell A (natural rubidium (87Rb/85Rb = frac{3}{7} ) and buffer gases) and gas cell B (87Rb and buffer gases)]. The highest microwave frequency stabilities were estimated as 3.4 \times 10^{-12} \tau ^{-1/2} and 2.7 \times 10^{-12} \tau ^{-1/2} at the optimal gas cell temperatures of 60°C and 48°C for the gas cells A and B , respectively (τ: integration time). The light shift, i.e., microwave frequency shift induced by laser light, was measured as -0.50 Hz/MHz and -0.11 Hz/MHz for the gas cells A and B at their optimal operating conditions given above. As an improved experiment by utilizing high temporal coherence of the laser, a novel double resonance spectral line shape with a drastically narrower linewidth was demonstrated. A technique, similar to FM laser spectroscopy, was employed for this purpose by utilizing laser FM sidebands which are induced by microwave frequency modulation and nonlinear susceptibility of three-level87Rb atoms. The minimum linewidth obtained was 20 Hz, which can be used as a sensitive frequency discriminator for an improved87Rb atomic clock.

Published in:

Quantum Electronics, IEEE Journal of  (Volume:23 ,  Issue: 4 )