Abstract

We report an experimental comparison of three-photon-absorption resonances (N-resonances) for the D1 and D2 optical transitions of thermal Rb87 vapor. We find that the D2 N-resonance has better contrast, a broader linewidth, and a more symmetric line shape than the D1 N-resonance. Taken together, these factors imply superior performance for frequency standards operating on alkali D2 N-resonances, in contrast with coherent population trapping resonances, for which the D2 transition provides poorer frequency standard performance than the D1 transition.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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