It has recently been shown that optical reflection gratings fabricated directly into an atom chip provide a simple and effective way to trap and cool substantial clouds of atoms [1,2]. In this article we describe how the gratings are designed and micro-fabricated and we characterise their optical properties, which determine their effectiveness as a cold atom source. We use simple scalar diffraction theory to understand how the morphology of the gratings determines the power in the diffracted beams.
- laser cooling
- laser trapping