Miniaturized magnetic guide for neutral atoms
We describe the principle and realization of a miniaturized magnetic guide for neutral atoms. The magnetic guide in our experiment is formed by a micrometer-sized current-carrying wire which is attached to a second, thick wire. The conductors are electrically insulated from each other. The combined magnetic field of both conductors provides an approximately linear trapping potential which establishes a magnetic guide along the surface of the thin wire. The miniaturized waveguide is filled with rubidium atoms from a magneto-optical trap (MOT) by first loading the atoms into a spherical magnetic quadrupole trap which is subsequently transformed into the linear potential of the waveguide. As thermal source for Rb atoms we use an alkali metal dispenser which is located close to the center of the MOT. This novel method is compatible with ultrahigh vacuum conditions and we achieved lifetimes of the magnetically trapped atoms up to 100 s.
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