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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Toward Ultracold Strontium on Nanophotonics

  • Author(s): Kestler, Grady
  • Advisor(s): Barreiro, Julio
  • Mookherjea, Shayan
  • et al.

Using matter wave interferometry to perform high precision measurements is an exciting field of modern day physics and engineering. Physical constants and anomalies too small to observe with classical devices can be probed and measured with quantum technology. The ability to control the wave nature of a specific particle opens up a vast set of methodologies engineered for the given particle. The most complete toolboxes exist for alkali metals such as rubidium and cesium. The atomic structure of strontium provides a number of advantages in further developing these methods and technologies, especially in the resolution of spectroscopic measurements.

A promising method of matter-wave control utilizes optical waveguides and atomic properties to trap and guide matter waves. Using laser cooling techniques, atoms are cooled to microkelvin temperatures before being loaded onto the nanophotonic chip, thus receiving the appropriate name, atom-on-chip devices. The ability to manufacture the photonic waveguides in a multitude of different arrangements shows promise in being able to develop atomtronic devices which are equivalent to electronic devices, but utilize matter-waves of neutral atoms instead of electrons.

The heart of our novel technology is an ultra-high vacuum (UHV) apparatus with sample loading capabilities. In this thesis, I discuss the design and construction of the apparatus to provide quick turn over between loading nanophotonic devices and experimental trapping by separation of the main chamber from a load lock. The ultimate pressures in both reach $3.8\times10^{-11}$ and below $1\times10^{-11}$ Torr and initial trials were conducted with a 36-48 hour turn over between loading a chip at atmosphere, and inserting it into the UHV main chamber. These metrics beats other groups by an order of magnitude in pressure and others week-long loading time. Continual improvements are being made to further decrease this time.

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