An array of integrated atom-photon junctions

Printer-friendly versionSend by emailPDF version

M. Kohnen, M. Succo, P. Petrov, M. Trupke, E.A. Hinds


Nature Photonics, 5 (2011), pp. 35 - 38

Photonic chips that integrate optical elements on a single device can process vast amounts of information rapidly. A new branch of this technology involves coupling light to cold atoms or Bose–Einstein condensates, the quantum nature of which provides a basis for new information-processing methods. The use of optical waveguides gives the light a small cross-section, making coupling to atoms efficient. In this Letter, we present the first waveguide chip designed to address a Bose–Einstein condensate along a row of independent junctions, which are separated by only 10 µm and have large atom–photon coupling. We describe a fully integrated, scalable design, and demonstrate 11 junctions working as intended, using a low-density cold atom cloud with as little as one atom on average in any one junction. The device suggests new possibilities for engineering quantum states of matter and light on a microscopic scale.