Holographic method for site-resolved detection of a 2D array of ultracold atoms
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We propose a novel approach to site-resolved detection of a 2D gas of ultracold atoms in an optical lattice. A near-resonant laser beam is coherently scattered by the atomic array, and after passing a lens its interference pattern is holographically recorded by superimposing it with a reference laser beam on a CCD chip. Fourier transformation of the recorded intensity pattern reconstructs the atomic distribution in the lattice with single-site resolution. The holographic detection method requires only about two hundred scattered photons per atom in order to achieve a high reconstruction fidelity of 99.9 %. Therefore, additional cooling during detection might not be necessary even for light atomic elements such as lithium. Furthermore, first investigations suggest that small aberrations of the lens can be post-corrected in imaging processing.