Magneto-optic trap using a reversible, solid-state alkali-metal source
Songbai Kang, Kaitlin R. Moore, James P. McGilligan, R. Mott, A. Mis, C. Roper, Elizabeth A. Donley, John E. Kitching
Fast, reversible, and low-power alkali-atom sources are desirable in both tabletop and portable cold-atom sensors. Here we demonstrate a magneto-optic trap (MOT) formed in conjunction with a reversible solid state Rb reservoir in a vapor cell. The results demonstrate experimental control of the number of atoms in the MOT via the voltage applied across the reservoir using ~ 10 mW of peak electrical power. Further investigation of the MOT loading shows that the Rb vapor pressure in the cell can be increased by 50 times, with a corresponding increase in the number of trapped atoms. The core technology of this device should translate readily to other alkali and alkaline-earth elements that may find a wide range of uses in cold-atom systems and instruments.