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A surface-patterned chip as a strong source of ultracold atoms for quantum technologies.

Nshil, C C*; Vangeleyn, M*; Cotter, J P*; Griffin, P F*; Hinds, E S*; Ironside, C N*; See, P; Sinclair, A G; Riis, E*; Arnold, A S* (2013) A surface-patterned chip as a strong source of ultracold atoms for quantum technologies. Nature Nanotechnol., 8 (5). pp. 321-324.

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Laser cooled atoms are central to modern precision measurements. They are also increasingly important as an enabling technology for experimental cavity quantum electrodynamics, quantum information processing and matter wave interferometry. Although significant progress has been made in miniaturising atomic metrological devices, these are limited in accuracy by their use of hot atomic ensembles and buffer gases. Advances have also been made in producing portable apparatus that benefit from the advantages of atoms in the microKelvin regime. However, simplifying atomic cooling and loading using microfabrication technology has proved difficult. In this letter we address this problem, realising an atom chip that enables the integration of laser cooling and trapping into a compact apparatus. Our source delivers ten thousand times more atoms than previous microfabricated magneto-optical traps and, for the first time, at sub-Doppler temperatures. Moreover, the same chip design offers a simple way to form stable optical lattices. These features, combined with the simplicity of fabrication and the ease of operation, make these new traps a key advance in the development of cold-atom technology for high-accuracy, portable measurement devices.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: cold atoms, quantum technology, quantum information, microfabrication
Subjects: Quantum Phenomena
Quantum Phenomena > Quantum Information Processing and Communication
Identification number/DOI: 10.1038/NNANO.2013.47
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2018 13:14
URI: http://eprintspublications.npl.co.uk/id/eprint/5829

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