Subpicotesla scalar atomic magnetometer with a microfabricated cell

Zhang, Rui and Dyer, Terry and Brockie, Nathan and Parsa, Roozbeh and Mhaskar, Rahul (2019) Subpicotesla scalar atomic magnetometer with a microfabricated cell. Journal of Applied Physics, 126 (12). 124503. ISSN 0021-8979

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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