Solid state electrochemical alkali sources for cold atom sensingReport as inadecuate

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1 Drapper 2 Iowa State University 3 ISCR - Institut des Sciences Chimiques de Rennes

Abstract : Alkali sources are used as getters, to coat thermionic emission electrodes and to provide alkali atoms for precision quantum sensors such as clocks, magnetometers, accelerometers and gyroscopes. Commercial alkali sources are electrically heated to 400 - 700°C, driving a chemical reaction which produces the alkali. These sources use high current, high power, operate at high temperatures, turn on and off slowly, and evolve impurities. We report here on solid state electrolytic sources for the production of cesium and rubidium at temperatures of 80°C to 170°C. The advantages of electrolytic sources over thermally driven sources are reduced current and power consumption, faster turn-on and turn-off, theability to monitor the quantity of generated alkali by current integration, and reduced temperature of operation. Resistivity and activation energy of the solid ionic conductors was measured vs. temperature. Alkali vapor pressure was detected by optical absorption in a custom vacuum system. Strong alkali signals comparable to commercial sources were measured when current was passed through the samples. Reversing the polarity of theapplied voltage results in ambient alkali absorption. These Solid State Ambipolar Alkali Sources SSAAS show potential as high purity, precision alkali sources for cold atom sensors where size, weight and power must be reduced.

Author: Jonathan Bernstein - Alison Whale - Justin D. Brown - Cort Johnson - Eugene Cook - Laurent Calvez - Xianghua Zhang - Steve W. Mar



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