Applied Physics B

, Volume 73, Issue 8, pp 819–824 | Cite as

An optical conveyor belt for single neutral atoms

  • D. Schrader
  • S. Kuhr
  • W. Alt
  • M. Müller
  • V. Gomer
  • D. Meschede
Article

Abstract.

Using optical dipole forces we have realized controlled transport of a single or any desired small number of neutral atoms over a distance of a centimeter with sub-micrometer precision. A standing wave dipole trap is loaded with a prescribed number of cesium atoms from a magneto-optical trap. Mutual detuning of the counter-propagating laser beams moves the interference pattern, allowing us to accelerate and stop the atoms at preselected points along the standing wave. The transportation efficiency is close to 100%. This optical ‘single-atom conveyor belt’ represents a versatile tool for future experiments requiring deterministic delivery of a prescribed number of atoms on demand.

PACS: 32.80.Lg; 32.80.Pj; 42.50.Vk 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Schrader
    • 1
  • S. Kuhr
    • 1
  • W. Alt
    • 1
  • M. Müller
    • 1
  • V. Gomer
    • 1
  • D. Meschede
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für Angewandte Physik, Universität Bonn, Wegelerstr. 8, 53115 Bonn, GermanyGermany

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