Future research...

Micro Optics

beam As mentioned in the Magneto optical trap section, we can cool atoms with a single laser beam using the grating MOT. However, the beams need to be quite large to trap a sufficient number of atoms: on the order of a centimeter FWHM. This is normally achieved with various lenses on an optical table, but this method has limited scope for small, compact and robust devices. We plan to look at waveguide outcoupler to expand and shape the beam in single planar optical elements. These element would not need alignment and can be mass produced. They may also be used to collect light from the atoms as an integrated detector.


Not all atom manipulation schemes can be achieved with a single beam in one direction. One may need lateral beams across the atom chip for detection, optical pumping, or even to produce optical lattices. We will develop atom chip substrates with transparent AS glass sections which allow us to bring beams through the wafer and into micro-optics, such as prisms, bonded to the atom chip surface. These can be coupled to the planar optical beam shapers to make a compact multilayer chip.