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Experiments with Ultracold Strontium in Compact Grating Magneto-Optical Trap Geometries

July 22, 2022 - 11:00am
Ananya Sitaram

Dissertation Committee Chair: Steven L. Rolston


Dr. Gretchen K. Campbell (Advisor/Co-Chair)

Professor Steven L. Rolston (Co-Chair)

Professor Mario Dagenais (Dean’s Representative)

Dr. Ian B. Spielman

Professor Alicia J. Kollár

Abstract:  In this thesis, we present the construction of a new apparatus for conducting experiments with ultracold strontium. The new apparatus is designed with a high-flux atomic source, a custom science chamber optimized for optical access, high-current Bitter electromagnets, and an updated computer control system. We discuss in-depth the implementation of an insulated-gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) for fast current control of the magnetic field coils. We also present the design of JQI AutomatioN for Experiments (JANE): a programmable system on chip (PSoC)-based pseudoclock device that we use as the main clocking device for our experiments.

Next, we report the realization of the first magneto-optical trap (MOT) of an alkaline-earth atom with a tetrahedral trap geometry produced by a nanofabricated diffraction grating. We have demonstrated a broad-line MOT in bosonic 88Sr and fermionic 87Sr. We trap approximately 4x107 atoms of 88Sr and achieve temperatures of around 6 mK, with a trap lifetime of around 1 s.

Finally, we demonstrate sawtooth wave adiabatic passage (SWAP) in a narrow-line MOT of 88Sr atoms. In the narrow-line MOT, we trap approximately 3x106 atoms, with an average temperature of 3.4 µK and a trap lifetime of 0.77 s. We also discuss the possibility for a narrow-line grating MOT of the fermionic isotope. Our work with strontium grating MOTs is a step in the direction of compact quantum devices with alkaline-earth atoms.

Location: PSC 2136 and