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Published May 20, 2019 | Supplemental Material + Published + Submitted
Journal Article Open

Architecture for the photonic integration of an optical atomic clock


Laboratory optical atomic clocks achieve remarkable accuracy (now counted to 18 digits or more), opening possibilities to explore fundamental physics and enable new measurements. However, their size and use of bulk components prevent them from being more widely adopted in applications that require precision timing. By leveraging silicon-chip photonics for integration and to reduce component size and complexity, we demonstrate a compact optical-clock architecture. Here a semiconductor laser is stabilized to an optical transition in a microfabricated rubidium vapor cell, and a pair of interlocked Kerr-microresonator frequency combs provide fully coherent optical division of the clock laser to generate an electronic 22 GHz clock signal with a fractional frequency instability of one part in 10^(13). These results demonstrate key concepts of how to use silicon-chip devices in future portable and ultraprecise optical clocks.

Additional Information

© 2019 Optical Society of America under the terms of the OSA Open Access Publishing Agreement. Received 22 February 2019; revised 17 April 2019; accepted 18 April 2019 (Doc. ID 360787); published 20 May 2019. Funding: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA); Atomic Clocks with Enhanced Stability (ACES); Direct On-Chip Digital Optical Synthesis (DODOS); U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). The authors would like to thank J. Burke, N. Lemke, L. Stern, E. Donley, and T. Heavner for helpful discussions, D. Hickstein and J. McGilligan for comments on the manuscript, and S. Schima, A. Dellis, and D. Bopp for their help in the cell fabrication. The views, opinions and/or findings expressed are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as representing the official views or policies of the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government. Any mention of commercial products within NIST web pages is for information only; it does not imply recommendation or endorsement by NIST.

Attached Files

Published - optica-6-5-680.pdf

Submitted - 1811.00616.pdf

Supplemental Material - 3916237.pdf


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August 19, 2023
October 19, 2023