Atomic Trapping and Cooling

Laser cooling and trapping is the ability to cool atoms down to unprecedented kinetic temperatures, and to confine and support isolated atoms in “atom traps”. This unique new level of control of atomic motion allows researchers to study the behavior of atoms and quantum mechanical properties.

Molecules grey

The temperature on the atomic scale depends on the rate of movement of the atoms. Cooling individual atoms usually boils down to preventing the atoms from moving. But how does one grab a single atom and stop it?

Some atomic cooling techniques are Doppler cooling, Sub–Doppler cooling, and atom evaporation in a Bose-Einstein condensate.

Atomic trapping and cooling are typically used in applications such as:

  • time/frequency standards (atomic clocks)
  • GPS systems and navigation
  • research on fundamental constants
  • quantum information (computing and encryption)
  • atom interferometry

For laser cooling on atomic resonances (such as Doppler cooling), you need a precise wavelength to match a specific atomic/ion transition, making DFB fiber lasers ideal. You can get this from a laser with a linewidth narrower than the atomic transition.

Higher power lets you cool more atoms simultaneously. No other commercial system provides equally high power at key cooling and trapping wavelengths as the Koheras HARMONIK, and with pristine beam quality.

Trap & cool with Koheras

Koheras lasers offer ultra-low noise, narrow linewidth, and high-frequency stability in a rugged fiber format. For trapping and cooling applications, we recommend our Koheras BOOSTIK HP single-frequency laser together with the Koheras HARMONIK frequency converter modules.

The BOOSTIK system has advantages that have made it a daily driver in hundreds of laboratories around the World:

  • High power
  • Excellent beam quality
  • Ultra-low phase noise
  • Easy to use and maintenance-free

The BOOSTIK HP laser and HARMONIK frequency converter module come in different wavelength ranges and power levels to suit the many different needs of atomic physics.

ModelWavelengthOutput powerPMPiezo tuning
HARMONIK775-780 nm>7 WOptionalYes
Y101030-1090 nm2,  5, 10 or 15WOptionalYes
E151530-1575 nm2, 5 or 10WOptionalYes

Get wavelength freedom

One of the key advantages of our DFB fiber laser technology is the freedom to choose the operating wavelength. Due to the excellent beam quality, frequency conversion can efficiently bring many important applications within atomic physics within reach of the HARMONIK system.

Frequency conversion examples are shown below.

The graph shows the VIS wavelength capabilities of the HARMONIK. All lasers are pumped by our low-noise fiber lasers in the NIR (not shown), allowing the lasers to be locked to frequency references at either their fundamental or converted wavelengths.

aeroGUIDE-POWER fiber delivery for high power narrow linewidth light

aeroGUIDE white

The aeroGUIDE-POWER is the gold standard of high power single-mode fiber delivery and offers the highest nonlinear threshold of any PM single-mode delivery system on the market.

The systems are equipped with high-power SMA-905 connectors with built-in mode strippers to remove uncoupled light. The aeroGUIDE-POWER is single-mode and can guide light with low loss anywhere in the 500 to 2000 nm range. The fiber is protected by an armored square lock steel cable that can handle daily use and even inter-lab routing through walls. 


How have others used Koheras lasers for atomic physics? Read the publications here.

Our quantum engagements

We are part of the European Quantum Flagship, the European Quantum Industry Consortium, the Quantum Economic Development Consortium, and the Danish Quantum Community.