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Department of Physics

Staff profile

Publication details for Prof Simon Cornish

Guttridge, A., Hopkins, S. A., Kemp, S. L., Boddy, D., Freytag, R., Jones, M. P. A., Tarbutt, M. R., Hinds, E. A. & Cornish, S. L. (2016). Direct loading of a large Yb MOT on the 1S0 → 3P1 transition. Journal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics 49(14): 145006.

Author(s) from Durham


We report a robust technique for laser frequency stabilisation that enables
the reproducible loading of in excess of 109 Yb atoms from a Zeeman slower directly
into a magneto-optical trap (MOT) operating on the 1S0 → 3P1 transition, without
the need for a first stage MOT on the 1S0 → 1P1 transition. We use a simple
atomic beam apparatus to generate narrow fluorescence signals on both the 399 nm
1S0 → 1P1 transition used for the Zeeman slower and the 556 nm 1S0 → 3P1
transition. We present in detail the methods for obtaining spectra with a high signalto-noise
ratio and demonstrate error signals suitable for robust frequency stabilisation.
Finally we demonstrate the stability and precision of our technique through sensitive
measurements of the gravitational sag of the Yb MOT as a function of the intensity of
the laser cooling beams, which are in good agreement with theory. These results will
be important for efficient loading of the atoms into an optical dipole trap.