Low-temperature, high-precision sapphire resonators exhibit a turning point in mode frequency-temperature dependence at around 10 K. This, along with sapphire's extremely low dielectric losses at microwave frequencies, results in oscillator fractional frequency stabilities on the order of 10(-15). At higher temperatures the lack of a turning point makes single-mode oscillators very sensitive to temperature fluctuations. By exciting two quasi-orthogonal whispering gallery (WG) modes in a single sapphire resonator, a turning point in the frequency-temperature dependence can be found in the beat frequency between the two modes. A temperature control technique based on mode frequency temperature dependence has been used to maintain the sapphire at this turning point and the fractional frequency instability of the beat frequency has been measured to be at a level of 4.3 x 10(-14) over 1 s, dropping to 3.5 x 10(-14) over 4 s integration time.
|Journal||IEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control|
|Publication status||Published - 2006|