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Logo: Institut für Quantenoptik/Leibniz Universität Hannover
Logo Leibniz Universität Hannover
Logo: Institut für Quantenoptik/Leibniz Universität Hannover
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A compact and solely fiber coupled dual-species double-MOT system loads a 3D-MOT at a rate of ~109 atoms/s (~108 atoms/s) for rubidium (potassium). A Mach-Zehnder pulse sequence (π/2 - π - π/2) creates a quantummeachanical superposition of two internal states that, due to the transferred photon momentum, enclose an area in space-time. The interferometer output ports are read out by pulsed state-selective fluorescence detection.

As a common source for dual species interferometry, an optical dipole trap at a wavelength of 2µm is available. By making use of this far off-resonance dipole trap (FORT) many systematics, such as

  • Wavefront errors due to transverse atomic spread,
  • Initial colocation of the two species,
  • Coriolis force,
  • Detection noise,
  • etc.

can be mitigated. Also, the benign light shifts of our trapping wavelength allow for robust and efficient laser cooling within the trap.

Additionally, we have realized the first BEC in an optical trap at a wavelength of 2µm.

Photo of the MOT System
ATLAS Schematic dual System

Far Off-resonance Optical Dipole Trap (FORT)

The far off resonant dipole trap (FORT) used in the ATLAS apparatus is formed by a Thulium doped fiber laser at a wavelength of 1960 nm with a maximum output power of 60W. The high available Power allows for a wide variety of different trap configurations. For independent control in different beam paths two Pockels Cells with high quality Glan laser polarizers can attenuate the laser power by 3 orders of magnitude, practically switching off the dipole trap. This allows to test elaborated evaporation techniques on a way to a fast and reliable all optical BEC. The current setup is a recycled beam setup forming a crossed dipole trap with a power consumption of only 10 W reducing thermal effects.

In first loading studies a very efficient and cold transfer from the MOT to the dipole trap was observed. Minimum temperatures of 2-3 µK directly after the loading sequence made it possible to investigate the performance of a single beam trap.This temperature corresponds to an initial phase space density of 10-2. These very good starting conditions seem to be unique to a FORT at 1960 nm and the effect is still under investigation. A single beam trap configuration would circumvent many of the problems crossed traps struggle with, like heating due to polarisation, relative beam pointing fluctuations and the limited trap volume. 

The axial confinement of the used single beam is to small to mantain high atomic densities for long enough to perform an efficient evaporation with low enough rethermalisation times. We now employ an additional weak magnetic trap, formed by the 3D-MOT quadrupole field which leads to a sufficient axial confinement to evaporate Rubidium 87 in a 20 second sequence to quantum degeneracy. With this method we were able to obtain the first BEC ([Zaiser et al., Phys. Rev. A 83, 035601 (2011)]) with 104 atoms in a FORT at this wavelength. We may call this setup a weak hybrid trap.

Comparison between single beam and weak hybrid trap
Comparison between single beam and weak hybrid trap.
First rubidium-87 condensate in a 1960 nm wavelength FORT
First rubidium-87 condensate in a 1960 nm wavelength FORT