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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 20, Iss. 22 — Oct. 22, 2012
  • pp: 24650–24663

In situ dissolution or deposition of Ytterbium (Yb) metal in microhotplate wells for a miniaturized atomic clock

Ronald P. Manginell, Matthew W. Moorman, John M. Anderson, George R. Burns, Komandoor E. Achyuthan, David R. Wheeler, and Peter D. D. Schwindt  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 20, Issue 22, pp. 24650-24663 (2012)

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Current atomic clocks are burdened by size, weight, power and portability limitations to satisfy a broad range of potential applications. One critical need in the fabrication of a miniaturized atomic clock is small, low-power metallic sources. Exploiting the relatively high vapor pressure of ytterbium (Yb) and its dissolution in anhydrous ammonia, we report two independent techniques for depositing Yb inside a well micromachined into a microhotplate. Subsequent in situ evaporation of Yb from the microhotplate well serves as a low-power metallic source suitable for atomic clocks. The deposition and evaporation of Yb were confirmed using a variety of physicochemical techniques including quartz crystal microbalance, scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, and laser fluorescence. We also describe the fabrication of the microhotplate device, an integral component of our Yb-based miniature atomic clock. The Yb deposition/evaporation on a microhotplate well is thus useful as a low power Yb source during the fabrication of a miniaturized atomic clock, and this technique could be used for other applications requiring a vapor of a metal that has a moderate vapor pressure.

© 2012 OSA

OCIS Codes
(020.0020) Atomic and molecular physics : Atomic and molecular physics
(020.2930) Atomic and molecular physics : Hyperfine structure
(160.0160) Materials : Materials
(160.3900) Materials : Metals

ToC Category:
Atomic and Molecular Physics

Original Manuscript: June 18, 2012
Revised Manuscript: August 20, 2012
Manuscript Accepted: August 20, 2012
Published: October 12, 2012

Ronald P. Manginell, Matthew W. Moorman, John M. Anderson, George R. Burns, Komandoor E. Achyuthan, David R. Wheeler, and Peter D. D. Schwindt, "In situ dissolution or deposition of Ytterbium (Yb) metal in microhotplate wells for a miniaturized atomic clock," Opt. Express 20, 24650-24663 (2012)

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