Eur. Phys. J. Appl. Phys.
Volume 34, Number 1, April 2006
|Page(s)||21 - 30|
|Section||Laser and Optics|
|Published online||04 May 2006|
A novel simplified two-dimensional magneto-optical trap as an intense source of slow cesium atoms
Observatoire cantonal, rue de l'Observatoire 58, 2000 Neuchâtel, Switzerland
Corresponding author: Natascia.Castagna@ne.ch
Revised: 14 February 2006
Accepted: 15 February 2006
Published online: 4 May 2006
We describe the design and performance of a slow atom source based on a 2D magneto-optical trap (MOT) that uses an innovative simple optical configuration. Metal-coated retro-reflecting prisms replace mirrors and quarter-wave plates so the optical power of the cooling laser beam is recycled. This source has been characterised for three different configurations: with and without transverse magnetic field gradient, and with a pusher beam to obtain a 2D+-MOT. The longitudinal velocity is of the order of 25 m·s−1, with a transverse velocity spread ≤1 m·s−1, while the typical atomic flux density obtained is up to 1.3×1014 at ·s−1·m−2 for a cesium vapour pressure of ~4×10−8 mbar in the source. We use this slow atom beam, instead of cesium vapour, to load a 3D moving optical molasses that feeds a continuous cold atom fountain. We obtain a gain of a factor ~20 in the atomic flux launched by the fountain.
PACS: 06.30.Ft – Time and frequency / 32.80.Lg – Mechanical effects of light on atoms, molecules, and ions / 32.80.Pj – Optical cooling of atoms; trapping / 39.10.+j – Atomic and molecular beam sources and techniques / 39.25.+k – Atom manipulation (scanning probe microscopy, laser cooling, etc.)
© EDP Sciences, 2006
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