Subpicotesla scalar atomic magnetometer with a microfabricated cell

Rui Zhang, Terry Dyer, Nathan Brockie, Roozbeh Parsa, Rahul Mhaskar

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We demonstrated a scalar atomic magnetometer using a microfabricated Cs vapor cell. The atomic spin precession is driven by an amplitude-modulated circularly-polarized pump laser resonant on the D1 transition of Cs atoms and detected by an off-resonant linearly-polarized probe laser using a balanced polarimeter setup. Under a magnetic field with amplitude in the Earth's magnetic field range, the magnetometer in the gradiometer mode can reach sensitivities below 150fT/√Hz, which shows that the magnetometer by itself can achieve sub-100fT/√Hz sensitivities. In addition to its high sensitivity, the magnetometer has a bandwidth close to 1 kHz due to the broad magnetic resonance inside the small vapor cell. Our experiment suggests the feasibility of a portable low-power and high-performance magnetometer which can be operated in the Earth's magnetic field. Such a device will greatly reduce the restrictions on the operating environment and expand the range of applications for atomic magnetometers, such as detection of nuclear magnetic resonance in low magnetic fields
Original languageEnglish
Article number124503
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number12
Early online date26 Sep 2019
Publication statusPublished - 28 Sep 2019


  • scalar atomic magnetometer
  • microfabricated cell
  • atomic spin
  • magnetic field

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