Europhys. Lett.
Volume 67, Number 2, July 2004
Page(s) 198 - 204
Section Interdisciplinary physics and related areas of science and technology
Published online 01 July 2004
Europhys. Lett., 67 (2) , pp. 198-204 (2004)
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2004-10059-y

Buffer gas cooling and trapping of atoms with small effective magnetic moments

J. G. E. Harris1, 2, R. A. Michniak1, 2, S. V. Nguyen1, 2, N. Brahms1, 2, W. Ketterle1, 3 and J. M. Doyle1, 2

1  Harvard/MIT Center for Ultracold Atoms - Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
2  Department of Physics, Harvard University - Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
3  Department of Physics, MIT - Cambridge, MA 02139, USA

(Received 5 April 2004; accepted 10 May 2004)

We have extended buffer gas cooling to trap atoms with small effective magnetic moments $\mu_{\ab{eff}}$. For $\mu_{\ab{eff}}\geq 3\mu_{\ab{B}}$, 1012 atoms were buffer gas cooled, trapped, and thermally isolated in ultra high vacuum with roughly unit efficiency. For $\mu_{\ab{eff}}<3\mu_{\ab{B}}$, the fraction of atoms remaining after full thermal isolation was limited by two processes: wind from the rapid removal of the buffer gas and desorbing helium films. In our current apparatus we trap atoms with $\mu_{\ab{eff}}\geq 1\mu_{\ab{B}}$, and thermally isolate atoms with $\mu_{\ab{eff}}\geq 1.8\mu_{\ab{B}}$. This triples the number of atomic species which can be buffer gas cooled and trapped in thermal isolation. Extrapolation of our results and simulations of the loss processes indicate that it is possible to trap and evaporatively cool $1\mu_{\ab{B}}$ atoms using buffer gas cooling.

32.80.Pj - Optical cooling of atoms; trapping.
39.25.+k - Atom manipulation (scanning probe microscopy, laser cooling, etc.).
68.43.Mn - Adsorption/desorption kinetics.

© EDP Sciences 2004