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Optics Letters

Optics Letters


  • Vol. 36, Iss. 7 — Apr. 1, 2011
  • pp: 1041–1043

Counting atoms in a deep optical microtrap

Matthew McGovern, Andrew J. Hilliard, Tzahi Grünzweig, and Mikkel F. Andersen  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Letters, Vol. 36, Issue 7, pp. 1041-1043 (2011)

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We demonstrate a method to count small numbers of atoms held in a deep, microscopic optical dipole trap by collecting fluorescence from atoms exposed to a standing wave of light that is blue detuned from resonance. While scattering photons, the atoms are cooled by a Sisyphus mechanism that results from the spatial variation in light intensity. The use of a small blue detuning limits the losses due to light-assisted collisions, thereby making the method suitable for counting several atoms in a microscopic volume.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(020.7010) Atomic and molecular physics : Laser trapping
(110.0180) Imaging systems : Microscopy
(110.2970) Imaging systems : Image detection systems
(140.7010) Lasers and laser optics : Laser trapping
(020.1335) Atomic and molecular physics : Atom optics
(020.3320) Atomic and molecular physics : Laser cooling

ToC Category:
Atomic and Molecular Physics

Original Manuscript: November 23, 2010
Revised Manuscript: February 2, 2011
Manuscript Accepted: February 17, 2011
Published: March 16, 2011

Virtual Issues
Vol. 6, Iss. 5 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Matthew McGovern, Andrew J. Hilliard, Tzahi Grünzweig, and Mikkel F. Andersen, "Counting atoms in a deep optical microtrap," Opt. Lett. 36, 1041-1043 (2011)

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