Generation of optical potentials for ultracold atoms using a superluminescent diode

Aaron Smith, Thomas Easton, Vera Guarrera, Giovanni Barontini*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

We report on the realization and characterization of optical potentials for ultracold atoms using a superluminescent diode. The light emitted by this class of diodes is characterized by high spatial coherence but low temporal coherence. On the one hand, this implies that it follows Gaussian propagation similar to lasers, allowing for high intensities and well-collimated beams. On the other, it significantly reduces those interference effects that lead to severe distortions in imaging. By using a high-resolution optical setup, we produce patterned optical potentials with a digital micromirror device and demonstrate that the quality of the patterns produced by our superluminescent diode is consistently and substantially higher than those produced by our laser. We show that the resulting optical potentials can be used to arrange the atoms in arbitrary structures and manipulate them dynamically. Our results can open new opportunities in the fields of quantum simulations and atomtronics.

Original languageEnglish
Article number033241
Number of pages7
JournalPhysical Review Research
Volume3
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Sep 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 authors.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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