The Micro Optics experiment is dedicated to the integration of fiber optics and lithographically created optical elements into atom chip setups. These elements can be used in order to couple light to single atoms out of a cloud of cold 87Rb in order to manipulate and detect them.
At the moment, our main tool is a fiber based fluorescence detector integrated on an atom chip (Figure 1) with the help of SU8 structures. Atoms trapped in a magnetic chiptrap propagate along a magnetic guide until they cross a detection region consisting of a tapered fiber delivering excitation light and a multimode fiber collecting the fluorescence photons (Figure 2), which are detected by two avalanche diode based SPCMs outside the vacuum chamber.
Up to now, we have managed to show that our device is capable of efficiently detecting single atoms. In this context, we have observed antibunching from photons emitted from single 87Rb atoms. Since Autumn 2009, we are able to created degenerate quantum gases (BECs, 1d – quasicondensates) within our setup. Right now, we are working on measuring atomic correlations in cold thermal as well as degenerate atom clouds.
In parallel, a second generation chip with new integrated tools is being developed right now.