Nitrogen buffer gas pressure tuning in a micro-machined vapor cell

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We demonstrate a controllable depletion of the nitrogen buffer gas pressure in a micro-machined cesium (Cs) vapor cell from the dynamic heating of an alkali dispenser pill. When the alkali source is laser activated, the gettering compounds within the alkali pill dispenser reduce the nitrogen (N2) content from the vapor for fine-tuning of the alkali to buffer gas pressure ratio, with a demonstrated pressure step size as low as 1 Torr. Additionally, we decrease the buffer gas pressure below 100 mTorr to evaluate the presence of other potential broadening mechanisms. Real-time control of the gas pressure ratio in the vapor cell will have notable benefits for refining atomic sensor performance and provide a routine to achieve various target pressures across a wafer bonded with a uniform back-filled buffer gas pressure.
Original languageEnglish
Article number074001
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 14 Aug 2023


  • MEMS technology
  • wafer bonding technology
  • sensors
  • Doppler spectroscopy
  • optical absorption


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