, Volume 102, Issue 4, pp 819-823
Date: 02 Mar 2011

Electron beam driven alkali metal atom source for loading a magneto-optical trap in a cryogenic environment

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We present a versatile and compact electron beam driven source for alkali metal atoms, which can be implemented in cryostats. With a heat load of less than 10 mW, the heat dissipation normalized to the atoms loaded into the magneto-optical trap (MOT) is about a factor 1000 smaller than for a typical alkali metal dispenser. The measured linear scaling of the MOT loading rate with electron current observed in the experiments indicates that electron stimulated desorption is the corresponding mechanism to release the atoms.