Abstract

Spin-exchange relaxation-free (SERF) atomic magnetometers usually adopt Faraday modulation to achieve better performance but suffer from laser intensity noise, thermal noise generated by the Faraday modulator, and nonmagnetic technical noise. These noises limit the sensitivity of the SERF magnetometer. We demonstrate a SERF magnetic gradiometer with dual-beam and closed-loop Faraday modulation. Operating in the SERF regime, the gradiometer utilizes an additional Faraday modulator rotation feedback to suppress probe laser intensity noise and thermal noise associated with the Faraday modulator, and it simultaneously uses dual-beam difference to cancel common-mode nonmagnetic technical noises. A gradient sensitivity of 14fT/Hz1/2 per 1 cm gradiometer base length was achieved using Cs atoms.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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