We developed a microwave oscillator and a micro electromechanical systems-based rubidium cell for the miniaturization of atomic clocks. A thin-film bulk acoustic resonator (FBAR) having a resonant frequency of the fundamental mode in the 3.5 GHz band was employed instead of a crystal resonator. It delivers a clock transition frequency of Rb atoms of 3.417 GHz without the need for a complicated frequency multiplication using a phase-locked loop. This topology considerably reduces the system scale and power consumption. For downsizing the atomic clock system toward the chip level as well as mass production, a microfabricated gas cell containing Rb and N2 gases was also developed. These microcomponents were incorporated into an atomic clock test bench, resulting in a clock operation with a short-term frequency instability of 2.1 × 10-11 at 1 s. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of a coherent population trapping clock operation using an FBAR-based microwave oscillator as well as a microfabricated gas cell.
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