It has recently been shown that optical reflection gratings fabricated directly into an atom chip provide a simple and effective way to trap and cool substantial clouds of atoms (Nshii et al. in Nat Nanotechnol 8:321–324, 2013; McGilligan et al. in Opt Express 23(7):8948–8959, 2015). In this article, we describe how the gratings are designed and microfabricated and we characterise their optical properties, which determine their effectiveness as a cold atom source. We use simple scalar diffraction theory to understand how the morphology of the gratings determines the power in the diffracted beams.
Cotter, J. P., McGilligan, J. P., Griffin, P. F., Rabey, I. M., Docherty, K., Riis, E., … & Hinds, E. A. (2016). Design and fabrication of diffractive atom chips for laser cooling and trapping. Applied Physics B, 122(6), 1-6.