Coherence and Raman sideband cooling of a single atom in an optical tweezer

J. D. Thompson, T. G. Tiecke, A. S. Zibrov, V. Vuletić, M. D. Lukin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

171 Scopus citations


We investigate quantum control of a single atom in a tightly focused optical tweezer trap. We show that inevitable spatially varying polarization gives rise to significant internal-state decoherence but that this effect can be mitigated by an appropriately chosen magnetic bias field. This enables Raman sideband cooling of a single atom close to its three-dimensional ground state (vibrational quantum numbers n̄x=n̄y=0.01, n̄z=8) even for a trap beam waist as small as w=900 nm. The small atomic wave packet with δx=δy=24 nm and δz=270 nm represents a promising starting point for future hybrid quantum systems where atoms are placed in close proximity to surfaces.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number133001
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number13
StatePublished - Mar 26 2013
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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