Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Magneto-optical trapping using planar optics



William McGehee, Wenqi Zhu, Daniel Barker, Daron Westly, Alexander Yulaev, Nikolai Klimov, Amit Agrawal, Stephen Eckel, Vladimir Aksyuk, Jabez J. McClelland


Laser-cooled atoms are a key component of many calibration-free measurement platforms— including clocks, gyroscopes, and gravimeters—and are a promising technology for quantum networking and quantum computing. The optics and vacuum hardware required to prepare these gases are often bulky and not amenable to large-volume manufacturing, limiting the practical realization of devices benefiting from the properties of cold atoms. Planar, lithographically produced optics including photonic integrated circuits, optical metasurfaces, and gratings offer a pathway to develop chip-scale, manufacturable devices utilizing cold atoms. As a demonstration of this technology, we have realized laser cooling of atomic Rb in a grating-type magneto-optical trap using planar optics for beam launching, beam shaping, and polarization control. Efficient use of light is accomplished using a flat-top laser beam to illuminate a grating chip. The performance of the planar optics MOT is competitive with conventional grating MOTs.
New Journal of Physics


planar optics, laser cooling, photonic integration


McGehee, W. , Zhu, W. , Barker, D. , Westly, D. , Yulaev, A. , Klimov, N. , Agrawal, A. , Eckel, S. , Aksyuk, V. and McClelland, J. (2021), Magneto-optical trapping using planar optics, New Journal of Physics, [online], (Accessed June 12, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created January 29, 2021, Updated August 17, 2022