MadSci Network: Physics

Re: what kind of laser is used in laser cooling and whats the efficiency?

Date: Fri Jan 4 01:05:38 2002
Posted By: Robert Arts, Faculty, Physics, Pikeville College
Area of science: Physics
ID: 1009023201.Ph

Laser cooling systems use tunable lasers capable of matching the frequency 
of the atoms that are to be trapped.  Typically, diode-lasers are used in 
this process.  Diode-lasers are used for a number of reasons.  They are 
low cost; which is an advantage where two lasers are used in the cooling 
process (one for trapping the atoms and another for optical repumping).  
Additionally, diode-lasers have excellent spectral properties and power 
stability.  The disadvantage of the diode-laser is its low power 
(typically less than 50 mW).  Several cooling experiments have used Ti-
sapphire lasers, repumped with an Argon-ion laser.  Even though these 
lasers are very costly, they have the advantage of having a high tuning 
rate and larger power output than a diode-laser.  More power allows for a 
larger magneto-optical trap to be used in the laser cooling process.

The efficiency of these laser-cooling systems is based on the cooling 
efficiency relative to the absorbed laser power.   Reports on this 
efficiency range from approximately 0.5% to 2.0%.

C.E. Mungen, et al., Appl. Phys. Lett. 71 (11) 15 September 1997.
C. Zimmermann, et al., Opt. Lett. 20, 297 (1995).
I. Shvarchuck, et al., Appl. Phys. B 71, 475-480 (2000).
S.N. Atutov, et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 80, 2129 (1998).
R. I. Epstein, et al., Nature, 377, 500-503, 1995.

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