Magneto-optical traps on a chip using micro-fabricated gratings
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We have made magneto-optical traps (MOTs) on a chip which is able to cool and trap ~108 atoms directly from a ~1cm3 thermal background of 87Rb. Diffraction gratings are used to manipulate the light from a single input beam to create the beams required for a MOT [1,2]. The gratings are etched into the surface of a silicon or GaAs wafer by either electron beam, or photo-lithography making them simple to fabricate and integrate into other atom chip architectures. We have developed a variety of gratings for utilisation both inside and outside a vacuum chamber - facilitating their incorporation into both new and existing devices. Unlike previously integrated cold atom sources on a chip [3,4] the atoms now sit above the surface where they can be easily imaged, manipulated and transferred into other on-chip potentials.
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