Navigation Links
Bon MOT: Innovative atom trap catches highly magnetic atoms
Date:4/2/2008

A research team from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the University of Maryland has succeeded in cooling atoms of a rare-earth element, erbium, to within two millionths of a degree of absolute zero using a novel trapping and laser cooling technique. Their recent report* is a major step towards a capability to capture, cool and manipulate individual atoms of erbium, an element with unique optical properties that promises highly sensitive nanoscale force or magnetic sensors, as well as single-photon sources and amplifiers at telecommunications wavelengths. It also may have applications in quantum computing devices.

The strongly counterintuitive technique of laser cooling to slow down atoms to very low speedstemperatures close to absolute zerohas become a platform technology of atomic physics. Laser cooling combined with specially arranged magnetic fieldsa so-called magneto-optical trap (MOT)has enabled the creation of Bose-Einstein condensates, the capture of neutral atoms for experiments in quantum computing and ultra-precise time-keeping and spectroscopy experiments. The technique originally focused on atoms that were only weakly magnetic and had relatively simple energy structures that could be exploited for cooling, but two years ago a NIST team showed that the far more complex energy structures of erbium, a strongly magnetic element, also could be manipulated for laser cooling.

The typical MOT uses a combination of six tuned laser beams converging on a point that is in a low magnetic field but surrounded by stronger fields. Originally, the lasers were tuned near a strong natural energy oscillation or resonance in the atom, a condition that provides efficient cooling but to only moderately low temperatures. In the new work, the research team instead used much gentler forces applied through a very weak resonance in order to bring erbium atoms to within a few millionths of a degree of absolute zero. Such weak resonances are only available in atoms with complex energy structures, and previously have been used only with a select group of non-magnetic atoms. When a strongly magnetic atom like erbium is used, the combination of strong magnetic forces and weak absorption of laser photons makes a traditional MOT unstable.

To beat this, the NIST/UM team turned classic MOT principles on their heads. Rather than shifting the laser frequency towards the red end of the spectrumto impact fast, high-temperature atoms more than slow, cold onesthey shifted the laser towards the blue side to take advantage of the effects of the magnetic field on the highly magnetic erbium. Magnetism holds the atoms stably trapped while the lasers gently pushed them against the field, all the while extracting energy and cooling them. The delicate balancing act not only cools and traps the elusive erbium atoms, it does it more efficiently. The teams modified trap design uses only a single laser and can cool erbium atoms to within two millionths of a degree of absolute zero. By contrast, a conventional MOT only brings rubidium atoms to about one ten-thousandth of a degree.

Erbium commonly is used in optical communications components for its convenient magneto-optical properties. The new trapping technique raises the possibility of using erbium and similar lanthanide elements for unique nanoscale magnetic field detectors, atomic resolution metrology, optical computing systems and quantum computing.


'/>"/>

Contact: Michael Baum
michael.baum@nist.gov
301-975-2763
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology technology :

1. Anesiva Receives FDA Approval for Zingo(TM), a New, Innovative Product to Reduce Pain Associated with Needle Insertion Procedures in Children
2. Innovative Neurotronics, a Subsidiary of Hanger Orthopedic Group, Earns the 2007 da Vinci Award for the WalkAide System
3. CardioDynamics Receives FDA 510(k) Clearance for Innovative Clinical Parameters and Electronic Medical Record Compatibility
4. Angiotech announces intent to file 510(k) for its innovative 5-FU Central Venous Catheter (CVC) based on positive results from pivotal trial
5. Hill-Rom Introduces New Wound Therapy Surface With Innovative Safety and Treatment Features
6. Affymax(R) and Takeda Recognized for Innovative Global Agreement to Develop and Commercialize Hematide(TM) for Anemia
7. Innovative Fosshield(R) Antimicrobial Technology Shown to Continuously Kill MRSA Superbug
8. Ferndale and Foamix Enter Development of an Innovative Foam for the Treatment of Atopic Dermatitis
9. A&G Pharmaceutical Receives $870,000 Grant from Avon Foundation to Advance Innovative Blood Diagnostic Test for Early Detection of Breast Cancer
10. Angiotech Submits 510(K) To FDA For Its Innovative 5-FU CVC
11. CV Therapeutics and Medlogics Device Corporation Sign Licensing Agreement for CVTs Innovative Stent Coating Technology
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Bon MOT: Innovative atom trap catches highly magnetic atoms
(Date:2/11/2016)... NEW YORK , Feb. 11, 2016  Bioethics International, ... how medicines are researched, developed, marketed and made accessible to ... BMJ Open had named the publication of the ... for 2015. The publication is also featured as one of ... published in the last year that are most frequently read. ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... 2016  Dovetail Genomics™ LLC today announced that it ... a planned metagenomic genome assembly service. Richard Green ... assembly method in a talk on Friday, February 12 ... conference in Orlando, Fla. ... is difficult. Using its proprietary Chicago ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 11, 2016 , ... ... regenerative medicine, has announced a new agreement with Bankok,Thailand-based Global Stem Cells Network ... and phsyicians in 15 Latin American countries, including Mexico, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... -- The Maryland House of Delegates and House Speaker ... Maryland School of Medicine Dean E. Albert Reece ... System President and CEO Robert Chrencik , MBA, ... given to the public by the leader of the ... and Mr. Chrencik for their contributions to our statewide ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:2/2/2016)... NEW YORK , Feb. 2, 2016 ... healthcare facilities are primarily focused on medical ... that measure point-of-care parameters. Wearable devices that ... a user,s freedom of movement are being ... sensors for human biomedical signal acquisition coupled ...
(Date:2/2/2016)... 2, 2016  Based on its recent analysis ... recognizes US-based Intelligent Retinal Imaging Systems (IRIS) with ... for New Product Innovation. IRIS, a prominent cloud-based ... America , is poised to set the ... retinopathy market. The IRIS technology presents superior price-performance ...
(Date:1/27/2016)... , Jan. 27, 2016  Rite Track, Inc. ... in West Chester, Ohio announced ... winning service staff, based in Austin, Texas ... and ability to provide modifications, installations and technical support ... , CEO of PLUS, commented, "PLUS has provided world ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):