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Enhanced observation time of magneto-optical traps using micro-machined non-evaporable getter pumps



Rodolphe Boudot, James P. McGilligan, Kaitlin R. Moore, Vincent N. Maurice, Gabriela Martinez, Azure L. Hansen, E. de Clercq, Elizabeth Donley, John Kitching


We show that micro-machined non-evaporable getter pumps (NEGs) can extend the time over which laser cooled atoms can be produced in a magneto-optical trap (MOT), in the absence of other vacuum pumping mechanisms. In a first study, we incorporate a silicon-glass microfabricated ultra-high vacuum (UHV) cell with silicon etched NEG cavities and alumino–silicate glass (ASG) windows and demonstrate the observation of a repeatedly-loading MOT over a 10 min period with a single laser-activated NEG. In a second study, the capacity of passive pumping with laser activated NEG materials is further investigated in a borosilicate glass-blown cuvette cell containing five NEG tablets. In this cell, the MOT remained visible for over 4 days without any external active pumping system. This MOT observation time exceeds the one obtained in the no-NEG scenario by almost five orders of magnitude. The cell scalability and potential vacuum longevity made possible with NEG materials may enable in the future the development of miniaturized cold-atom instruments.
Scientific Reports


Atomic, laser-cooling, MEMS, non-evaporable getters, vacuum


Boudot, R. , McGilligan, J. , Moore, K. , Maurice, V. , Martinez, G. , Hansen, A. , de Clercq, E. , Donley, E. and Kitching, J. (2020), Enhanced observation time of magneto-optical traps using micro-machined non-evaporable getter pumps, Scientific Reports, [online], (Accessed April 23, 2024)
Created October 6, 2020, Updated March 25, 2024