Abstract

Distributed-feedback laser diodes emitting at 780nm have been evaluated, with respect to the aging of the injection current required for reaching the rubidium D2 resonance line. Results obtained for lasers operating in air and in vacuum for 9 months are reported. When operated at constant temperature, the laser current required for emission at the wavelength of the desired atomic resonance is found to decrease by 50 to 80μA per month. The impact of this result on the lifetime and long-term performances of laser-pumped rubidium atomic clocks is discussed.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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