Calcium magneto-optical trap loaded from a decelerated atomic beam


Brazilian Journal of Physics




We describe a new system for laser cooling and trapping of neutral Calcium atoms employing the ¹S0 -¹ P1 resonant transition at 423 nm. An on-axis magneto-optical trap (MOT) is loaded from a Zeeman decelerated atomic beam. When a single laser is used, in order to avoid perturbation of the trap by the deceleration laser beam, this one has been tightly focused near the MOT center, with a waist size much smaller than the atomic cloud. In order to test the efficiency of this novel technique, we have then employed a second, independent decelerating laser, with a profile mode matched to the atomic beam. For an oven temperature of 580±C this system can load 1.2 (2) x 10(7) atoms in 16 (1) ms. By the spatial extension of the atomic cloud the one dimension rms velocity was estimated to be 136 (12) cm/s, corresponding to a temperature of 9 (2) mK. The variation of the number of trapped atoms as a function of laser detuning and intensity, trap magnetic field gradient and oven temperature is analyzed. Spatial structures of the trapped atoms, like stable rings created by vortex forces, have been observed. This is the first time that these structures, already observed in alkali-metal elements, are reported in MOTs of alkaline-earth elements.

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