We study a new type of optical lattice in which the localized atoms experience a much reduced optical pumping and fluorescence rate. An optical standing wave is tuned to the blue of the F = 2 → F = 2 transition of the 87Rb D2 line and induces periodic optical potentials by coupling the F = 2 ground state to both the F = 2 and F = 3 excited states. A Sisyphus mechanism efficiently cools the atoms into the lattice sites. We adiabatically release the atoms from the optical lattice and measure their momentum distribution with a resolution of one third of a single photon recoil. This allows us to determine the population of the two lowest energy bands in the optical lattice (44% and 20%).
© 1996 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: January 16, 1996
Published: July 1, 1996
T. Esslinger, H. Ritsch, M. Weidemüller, F. Sander, A. Hemmerich, and T. W. Hänsch, "Purely optical dark lattice," Opt. Lett. 21, 991-993 (1996)