Abstract

We present a digital differential detection scheme using a single photodiode to suppress the diode laser frequency noise and improve the short-term stability in atomic clocks based on coherent population trapping (CPT) resonance. One laser light is divided into two beams via modulation of an acousto-optic modulator. One beam induces CPT resonance with circularly polarized light, and the other beam induces only absorption with linearly polarized light. A differential algorithm counteracts common-mode noise from the two beams. A stability of 6.86×1012 at 100 s and 2.26×1012 at 1000 s has been demonstrated. The short-term stability is improved by a factor of 2.4 at 100 s. The scheme promises to eliminate laser-related noise and explore potential applications in chip-scale atomic clocks.

© 2018 Optical Society of America

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