A quantitative study on characteristics of a magneto-optical trap with a single or a few atoms is presented. A very small number of 85Rb atoms were trapped in a micron-size magneto-optical trap with a high magnetic-field gradient. In order to find the optimum condition for a single-atom trap, we have investigated how the number of atoms and the size of atomic cloud change as various experimental parameters, such as a magnetic-field gradient and the trapping laser intensity and detuning. The averaged number of atoms was measured very accurately with a calibration procedure based on the single-atom saturation curve of resonance fluorescence. In addition, the number of atoms in a trap could be controlled by suppressing stochastic loading events by means of a real-time active feedback on the magnetic-field gradient.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)