Abstract

A novel technique for microfabricating alkali atom vapor cells is described in which alkali atoms are evaporated into a micromachined cell cavity through a glass nozzle. A cell of interior volume 1mm3, containing Rb87 and a buffer gas, was made in this way and integrated into an atomic clock based on coherent population trapping. A fractional frequency instability of 6×1012 at 1000s of integration was measured. The long-term drift of the F=1, mF=0F=2, mF=0 hyperfine frequency of atoms in these cells is below 5×1011day.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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