DOI: 10.1063/5.0167572 ISSN: 0034-6748

A planar cloverleaf antenna for circularly polarized microwave fields in atomic and molecular physics experiments

Weijun Yuan, Siwei Zhang, Niccolò Bigagli, Claire Warner, Ian Stevenson, Sebastian Will
  • Instrumentation

We report on the design and characterization of a compact microwave antenna for atomic and molecular physics experiments. The antenna is comprised of four loop antennas arranged in a cloverleaf shape, allowing for precise adjustment of polarization by tuning the relative phase of the loops. We optimize the antenna for left-circularly polarized microwaves at 3.5 GHz and characterize its near-field performance using ultracold NaCs molecules as a precise quantum sensor. Observing an unusually high Rabi frequency of 2π × 46.1(2) MHz, we extract an electric field amplitude of 33(2) V/cm at 22 mm distance from the antenna. The polarization ellipticity is 2.3(4)°, corresponding to a 24 dB suppression of right-circular polarization. The cloverleaf antenna is planar and provides large optical access, making it highly suitable for quantum control of atoms and molecules and potentially other quantum systems that operate in the microwave regime.

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