Towards a compact, optically-interrogated, cold-atom microwave clock

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A compact platform for cold atoms opens a range of exciting possibilities for portable, robust, and accessible quantum sensors. In this work we report on the development of a cold-atom microwave clock in a small package. Our work utilises the grating magneto-optical trap and high-contrast coherent population trapping in the lin⊥lin polarisation scheme. We optically probe the atomic round-state splitting of cold 87Rb atoms using a Ramsey-like sequence whilst the atoms are in free-fall. We have measured a
short-term fractional frequency stability of 5×10−11/√t with a projected quantum projection noise limit at the 10 −13/√t level.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-303
Number of pages7
JournalAdvanced Optical Technologies
Issue number5
Early online date7 Sept 2019
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2020


  • CPT
  • atomic clock
  • coherent population trapping
  • cold atoms


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