, Volume 96, Issue 4, pp 763-772
Date: 03 Apr 2009

A large sample study of spin relaxation and magnetometric sensitivity of paraffin-coated Cs vapor cells

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We have manufactured more than 250 nominally identical paraffin-coated Cs vapor cells (28 mm inner diameter bulbs) for multi-channel atomic magnetometer applications. We describe our dedicated cell characterization apparatus. For each cell we have determined the intrinsic longitudinal, Γ 01, and transverse, Γ 02, relaxation rates. Our best cell shows Γ 01/2π≈0.5 Hz, and Γ 02/2π≈2 Hz. We find a strong correlation of both relaxation rates which we explain in terms of reservoir and spin exchange relaxation. For each cell we have determined the optimal combination of rf and laser powers which yield the highest sensitivity to magnetic field changes. Out of all produced cells, 90% are found to have magnetometric sensitivities in the range of 9 to 30 fT \(\sqrt{\mathrm{Hz}}\) . Noise analysis shows that the magnetometers operated with such cells have a sensitivity close to the fundamental photon shot noise limit.