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  • CLEO/Europe and EQEC 2011 Conference Digest
  • OSA Technical Digest (CD) (Optica Publishing Group, 2011),
  • paper CB_P1

Passively Mode-Locked Semiconductor Laser for Coherent Population Trapping in 87Rb

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Recent growing interest in miniature atomic frequency references and precision magnetometers has motivated investigations of coherent population trapping (CPT) and its use in such applications [1]. System designs based on picosecond mode-locked lasers have been previously reported for generating the CPT effect, using Ti:Sapphire lasers passively mode-locked at a submultiple of the hyperfine splitting 87Rb levels [2], or laser diodes modulated electrically [3] or with an external electro-optic modulator [4] at the 87Rb splitting frequency. In this work we investigate a novel approach for achieving CPT in 87Rb vapour cells. We use a 795nm semiconductor laser passively mode-locked [5] at the 87Rb standard frequency (~6.834GHz). This approach eliminates the need for any RF driving circuit, allowing a more compact, integrable and easy to drive implementation of CPT in 87Rb. For this purpose we have fabricated 5.678mm long lasers with 3µm wide and 1.2µm deep ridge waveguides, with a 150µm long saturable absorber (SA) at one facet. The laser material used is a 793nm GaAs/AlxGa1-xAs single quantum well (QW) graded-index separate confinement heterostructure (GRINSCH), with an epitaxial design similar to the one reported in [6].

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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