Dark optical lattice of ring traps for cold atoms

Emmanuel Courtade, Olivier Houde, Jean-François Clément, Philippe Verkerk, Daniel Hennequin

Phys. Rev. A 74 031403 (2006)

We propose an optical lattice for cold atoms made of a one-dimensional stack of dark ring traps. It is obtained through the interference pattern of a standard Gaussian beam with a counterpropagating hollow beam obtained using a setup with two conical lenses. The traps of the resulting lattice are characterized by a high confinement and a filling rate much larger than unity, even if loaded with cold atoms from a magneto-optical trap. We have implemented this system experimentally, and demonstrated its feasibility. Applications in statistical physics, quantum computing, and Bose-Einstein condensate dynamics are conceivable.