Using the techniques of microelectromechanical systems, we are developing chip-scale atomic sensors based on laser excitation of alkali atoms. Recently, we demonstrated a magnetometer physics package that had sensitivity of 50 pT / Hz1/2 at 10 Hz, had a volume of 12 mm3, and used 195 mW of power. To improve the sensitivity and reduce the power consumption of the magnetometer, we are evaluating other methods of interrogating the atoms for use in microfabricated devices. One of these methods uses frequency modulated nonlinear magneto-optical rotation (FM NMOR). We demonstrate that an FM NMOR magnetometer can be made to self-oscillate, offering simple construction and low power consumption.
Proceedings Title: Proc. 2005 IEEE Sensors Conf.
Pub Type: Conferences
coherent population trapping, magnetic resonance, magnetometers, MEMS