A compact grating Magneto-Optical Trap chip for the generation of ultra-cold atoms.



  • Trapping over 10 million 87Rb atoms
  • Cooling below 40 µK
  • Atom Clouds denser than 1010/cm3

Central to quantum technology research.

Enables laser cooling with a single laser beam while significantly reducing the overall system volume, optical access requirements, apparatus complexity and cost.

Can operate either inside the vapour chamber or externally through a suitable window.

Each chip supplied with actual atom number and cooling data.

This work was published in Nature Nanotechnology.

Grating Magneto-Optical Trap. Laser cooling is greatly simplified, requiring only one laser beam incident on the grating for each stage of laser cooling. The other required beams are generated by diffraction from the grating.


Performance Specifications

Loading rate of atoms into the MOT – >5×106 /sec
Steady state number of atoms in MOT – ~107
Temperature – 3 µK to 40 µK
Density – >1010 /cm3

Chip Physical Specifications

Dimensions: 22 x 22 x 0.5 mm
Grating region: 20 x 20 mm
Material coating: Aluminium
Chip material: Silicon
Weight: 0.6 g

Input Laser Beam Requirements

Wavelength: 780.24 nm
Frequency detuning: ~12 MHz
Power: ~50 mW
Polarisation: Circular polarised (Stokes parameter |S3|≥0.9)
Collimation: Divergence angle, |θ|≤0.1o
Incident angle: Normal +/- 1o
Beam size radius: 1/e2 radius ~17 mm

Vacuum and Magnetic Requirements

Base pressure: <1 x 10-9 mbar
Rb partial pressure: <5 x 10-9 mbar
Magnetic field: Quadrupole coils aligned with chip. Axial gradient of 0.1 T/m
Ambient DC field: ≤10 µT

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