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Microfabricated alkali atom vapor cells



Li-Anne Liew, Svenja A. Knappe, John M. Moreland, Hugh Robinson, David C. Larbalestier, John Kitching


We describe the fabrication of chip-sized alkali atom vapor cells using silicon micromachining and anodic bonding technology. Such cells may find use in highly miniaturized atomic frequency references or magnetometers. The cells consist of cavities etched in silicon, with internal volumes as small as 1 mm3. Two techniques for introducing cesium and a buffer gas into the cells are described: one based on chemical reaction between cesium chloride and barium azide, and the other based on direct injection of elemental cesium within a controlled anaerobic environment. Cesium optical absorption and coherent population trapping resonances were measured in the cells.
Applied Physics Letters


atomic clock, cesium, MEMS, microfabrication, vapor cells


Liew, L. , Knappe, S. , Moreland, J. , Robinson, H. , Larbalestier, D. and Kitching, J. (2004), Microfabricated alkali atom vapor cells, Applied Physics Letters, [online], (Accessed May 26, 2024)


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Created April 4, 2004, Updated October 12, 2021