Volume 87, Number 1, July 2009
Article Number 13002
Number of page(s) 6
Section Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics
Published online 24 July 2009
EPL, 87 (2009) 13002
DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/87/13002

Effect of vortices on the spin-flip lifetime of atoms in superconducting atom-chips

G. Nogues1, C. Roux1, T. Nirrengarten1, A. Lupaşcu1, A. Emmert1, M. Brune1, J.-M. Raimond1, S. Haroche1, 2, B. Plaçais3 and J.-J. Greffet4

1   Laboratoire Kastler Brossel, ENS, UPMC, CNRS - 24 rue Lhomond, 75005 Paris, France, EU
2   Collège de France - 11 place Marcelin Berthelot, 75005 Paris, France, EU
3   Laboratoire Pierre Aigrain, ENS, UPMC, CNRS - 24 rue Lhomond, F-75231 Paris Cedex 05, France, EU
4   Laboratoire EM2C, Ecole Centrale Paris, CNRS - Grande Voie des Vignes, 92295 Châtenay-Malabry, France, EU

received on 7 May 2009; accepted in final form by M. Lewenstein on 25 June 2009; published July 2009
published online 24 July 2009

We study theoretically the lifetime of magnetically trapped atoms in the close vicinity of a type-II superconducting surface, in the context of superconducting atom-chips. We account for the magnetic noise created at the cloud position by the vortices present in the superconductor and give specific results for our experiment which uses a niobium film. Our main result is that atom losses are dominated by the presence of vortices. They remain however dramatically smaller than in equivalent room-temperature atom-chip setups using normal metals.

37.10.Gh - Atom traps and guides.
42.50.Ct - Quantum description of interaction of light and matter; related experiments.
47.32.C- - Vortex dynamics.

© EPLA 2009