Thursday, June 6, 2013

1306.0402 (Jan Mahnke et al.)

Microwave sidebands for laser cooling by direct modulation of a tapered

Jan Mahnke, Sascha Kulas, Ilka Geisel, Stefan Jöllenbeck, Wolfgang Ertmer, Carsten Klempt
Laser cooling of atoms usually necessitates several laser frequencies. Alkaline atoms, for example, are cooled by two lasers with a frequency difference in the Gigahertz range. This gap cannot be closed with simple shifting techniques. Here, we present a method of generating sidebands at 6.6 GHz by modulating the current of a tapered amplifier which is seeded by an unmodulated master laser. The sidebands enable trapping of 1.1*10^9 Rubidium 87 atoms in a chip-based magneto-optical trap. Compared to the direct modulation of the master laser, this method allows for an easy implementation, a fast adjustment over a wide frequency range and the simultaneous extraction of unmodulated light for manipulation and detection. The low power consumption, small size and applicability for multiple frequencies benefits a wide range of applications, reaching from atom-based mobile sensors to the laser cooling of molecules.
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