Imaging and focusing of an atomic beam with a large period standing light wave

T. Sleator, T. Pfau, V. Balykin, J. Mlynek

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    A novel atomic lens scheme is reported. A cylindrical lens potential was created by a large period ({reversed tilde equals} 45 μm) standing light wave perpendicular to a beam of metastable He atoms. The lens aperture (25 μm) was centered in one antinode of the standing wave; the laser frequency was nearly resonant with the atomic transition 23S1-23P2 (λ=1.083 μm) and the interaction time was significantly shorter than the spontaneous lifetime (100 ns) of the excited state. The thickness of the lens was given by the laser beam waist (40 μm) in the direction of the atomic beam. Preliminary results are presented, where an atomic beam is focused down to a spot size of 4 μm. Also, a microfabricated grating with a period of 8 μm was imaged. We discuss the principle limitations of the spatial resolution of the lens given by spherical and chromatic aberrations as well as by diffraction. The fact that this lens is very thin offers new perspectives for deep focusing into the nm range.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)375-379
    Number of pages5
    JournalApplied Physics B Photophysics and Laser Chemistry
    Issue number5
    StatePublished - May 1992


    • 07.77.+P
    • 32.80.-t
    • 42.50.Vk

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Engineering


    Dive into the research topics of 'Imaging and focusing of an atomic beam with a large period standing light wave'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this