We have investigated coherent population trapping (CPT) in laser-cooled as well as room-temperature (with and without buffer gas) rubidium atoms. The characteristic broad signal profile emerging from the two-photon Raman resonance for room-temperature atomic vapour is consistent with the theoretical calculation incorporating associated thermal averaging. The spectral width of the dark resonance obtained with cold atoms is found to be broadened, compared to roomtemperature vapour cell, due to the feeble role played by thermal averaging, although the cold atomic sample significantly overcomes the limitation of the transit time broadening. An alternative way to improve transit time is to use a buffer gas, with which we demonstrate that the coherent population trapping signal width is reduced to < 540 Hz.
Volume 94, 2020
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