Optical ferris wheel for ultracold atoms

S. Franke-Arnold, J. Leach, M.J. Padgett, D. Lembessis, D. Ellinas, A.J. Wright, J.M. Girkin, P. Ohberg, A.S. Arnold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

276 Citations (Scopus)
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We propose a versatile optical ring lattice suitable for trapping cold and quantum degenerate atomic samples. We demonstrate the realisation of intensity patterns from pairs of Laguerre-Gauss (exp(i-ө) modes with different - indices. These patterns can be rotated by introducing a frequency shift between the modes. We can generate bright ring lattices for trapping atoms in red-detuned light, and dark ring lattices suitable for trapping atoms with minimal heating in the optical vortices of blue-detuned light. The lattice sites can be joined to form a uniform ring trap, making it ideal for studying persistent currents and the Mott insulator transition in a ring geometry.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8619-8625
Number of pages7
JournalOptics Express
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jun 2007


  • atomic and molecular physics
  • laser trapping lasers
  • laser optics
  • laser cooling
  • optical devices
  • spatial light modulators
  • physical optics
  • interference


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