A vapor-cell atomic sensor for radio-frequency field detection using a polarization-selective field enhancement resonator

Document Type


Publication Date



Physics and Astronomy

Publication Title

Applied Physics Letters


We present a hybrid atomic sensor that realizes radio-frequency electric field detection with intrinsic field enhancement and polarization selectivity for robust high-sensitivity field measurement. The sensor incorporates a passive resonator element integrated with an atomic vapor cell that provides enhancement and polarization selectivity of incident radio-frequency fields. The enhanced intra-cavity radio-frequency field is measured by atoms using a quantum-optical readout of AC level shifts of field-sensitive atomic Rydberg states. In our demonstration, we employ a split field-enhancement resonator embedded in a rubidium vapor cell to enhance and detect C-band radio-frequency fields. We observe a field enhancement equivalent to a 24 dB gain in intensity sensitivity. The spatial profile of the resonant field mode inside the field-enhancement cavity is characterized and robust polarization measurement of the incident field is demonstrated. The measured performance metrics of the sensor are in good agreement with simulations. Applications of such atomic sensors in ultra-weak radio-frequency detection and advanced measurement capabilities are discussed.

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