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Phys Rev Lett. 2005 Oct 21;95(17):173602. Epub 2005 Oct 19.

Submicron positioning of single atoms in a microcavity.

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  • 1Max-Planck-Institut für Quantenoptik, Hans-Kopfermann-Str. 1, D-85748 Garching, Germany.


The coupling of individual atoms to a high-finesse optical cavity is precisely controlled and adjusted using a standing-wave dipole-force trap, a challenge for strong atom-cavity coupling. Ultracold Rubidium atoms are first loaded into potential minima of the dipole trap in the center of the cavity. Then we use the trap as a conveyor belt that we set into motion perpendicular to the cavity axis. This allows us to repetitively move atoms out of and back into the cavity mode with a repositioning precision of 135 nm. This makes it possible to either selectively address one atom of a string of atoms by the cavity, or to simultaneously couple two precisely separated atoms to a higher mode of the cavity.

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