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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: Andrew M. Weiner
  • Vol. 21, Iss. 5 — Mar. 11, 2013
  • pp: 5781–5792

Metrological characterization of custom-designed 894.6 nm VCSELs for miniature atomic clocks

F. Gruet, A. Al-Samaneh, E. Kroemer, L. Bimboes, D. Miletic, C. Affolderbach, D. Wahl, R. Boudot, G. Mileti, and R. Michalzik  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 21, Issue 5, pp. 5781-5792 (2013)

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We report on the characterization and validation of custom-designed 894.6 nm vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs), for use in miniature Cs atomic clocks based on coherent population trapping (CPT). The laser relative intensity noise (RIN) is measured to be 1 × 10−11 Hz−1 at 10 Hz Fourier frequency, for a laser power of 700 μW. The VCSEL frequency noise is 1013 · f−1 Hz2/Hz in the 10 Hz < f < 105 Hz range, which is in good agreement with the VCSEL’s measured fractional frequency instability (Allan deviation) of ≈ 1 × 10−8 at 1 s, and also is consistent with the VCSEL’s typical optical linewidth of 20–25 MHz. The VCSEL bias current can be directly modulated at 4.596 GHz with a microwave power of −6 to +6 dBm to generate optical sidebands for CPT excitation. With such a VCSEL, a 1.04 kHz linewidth CPT clock resonance signal is detected in a microfabricated Cs cell filled with Ne buffer gas. These results are compatible with state-of-the-art CPT-based miniature atomic clocks exhibiting a short-term frequency instability of 2–3×10−11 at τ = 1 s and few 10−12 at τ = 104 s integration time.

© 2013 OSA

OCIS Codes
(020.1670) Atomic and molecular physics : Coherent optical effects
(120.3930) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Metrological instrumentation
(300.6320) Spectroscopy : Spectroscopy, high-resolution
(140.7260) Lasers and laser optics : Vertical cavity surface emitting lasers

ToC Category:
Instrumentation, Measurement, and Metrology

Original Manuscript: December 10, 2012
Revised Manuscript: January 30, 2013
Manuscript Accepted: February 6, 2013
Published: March 1, 2013

F. Gruet, A. Al-Samaneh, E. Kroemer, L. Bimboes, D. Miletic, C. Affolderbach, D. Wahl, R. Boudot, G. Mileti, and R. Michalzik, "Metrological characterization of custom-designed 894.6 nm VCSELs for miniature atomic clocks," Opt. Express 21, 5781-5792 (2013)

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