An atomic clock based on a compact source of cold atoms and coherent population trapping (CPT) is an encouraging goal for future low-volume atomic frequency references. Our experiment seeks to investigate the performance of such a system by applying CPT in a high-contrast lin⊥lin polarisation scheme to our 87Rb grating magneto optical trap (GMOT) apparatus. In this paper, we report on our progress of improving short- term stability of our cold-atom CPT apparatus. Our recent measurements have shown a short-term stability of 5 x 10-11/√τ, with the ability to average down for times τ>100s.
The combination of coherent population trapping (CPT) and laser cooled atoms is a promising platform for realizing the next generation of compact atomic frequency references. Towards this goal, we have developed an apparatus based on the grating magneto-optical trap (GMOT) and the high-contrast lin ⊥ lin CPT scheme in order to explore the performance that can be achieved. One important trade-off for cold-atom systems arises from the need to simultaneously maximize the number of cold atoms available for interrogation and the repetition rate of the system. This compromise can be mitigated by recapturing cold atoms from cycle to cycle. Here, we report a quantitative characterization of the cold atom number in the recapture regime for our system, which will enable us to optimize this trade-off. We also report recent measurements of the short-term frequency stability with a short-term Allan deviation of 3 × 10-11/τ up to an averaging time of τ = 10 s.