Continuous transfer and laser guiding between two cold atom traps
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We have demonstrated and modeled a simple and efficient method to transfer atoms from a first Magneto-Optical Trap (MOT) to a second one. Two independent setups, with cesium and rubidium atoms respectively, have shown that a high power and slightly diverging laser beam optimizes the transfer between the two traps when its frequency is red-detuned from the atomic transition. This pushing laser extracts a continuous beam of slow and cold atoms out of the first MOT and also provides a guiding to the second one through the dipolar force. In order to optimize the transfer efficiency, the dependence of the atomic flux on the pushing laser parameters (power, detuning, divergence and waist) is investigated. The atomic flux is found to be proportional to the first MOT loading rate. Experimentally, the transfer efficiency reaches 70%, corresponding to a transfer rate up to 2.7×108 atoms/s with a final velocity of 5.5 m/s. We present a simple analysis of the atomic motion inside the pushing–guiding laser, in good agreement with the experimental data.
PACS.07.77.Gx Atomic and molecular beam sources and detectors 32.80.Lg Mechanical effects of light on atoms, molecules, and ions 32.80.Pj Optical cooling of atoms; trapping
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