Volume 8 Issue 5, May 2013

Volume 8 Issue 5

Laser-cooled atoms are central to modern precision measurements and enable a wide variety of quantum technologies to be realized. Although significant progress has been made in miniaturizing room-temperature atomic sources, simplifying the optical set-up for atomic cooling and loading using technology capable of scalable production has proved difficult. Now, Arnold and colleagues have utilized microfabrication technology to create specialized semiconductor wafers (pictured), which diffract a single incoming laser beam into four appropriately polarized beams, creating a beam-overlap zone ideal for the trapping and cooling of atoms. These gratings — similar to miniaturized Lego boards — could be mass produced and require only a single alignment.

Letter p321 ; News & Views p317

IMAGE: ANDREW BROOKES, NPL

COVER DESIGN: ALEX WING

Correspondence

Research Highlights

News and Views

  • News & Views |

    A sacrificial polymer layer can be used to transfer molecularly clean graphene onto arbitrary substrates, including thin layers of soft polymers.

    • Jae-Young Choi
  • News & Views |

    A nanoscale combing technique can be used to straighten and align nanowires with exceptional precision.

    • Nathan O. Weiss
    •  & Xiangfeng Duan
  • News & Views |

    Hyperpolarized silicon particles show high potential for in vivo magnetic resonance imaging.

    • Joseph J. H. Ackerman
  • News & Views |

    Nucleic acid probes and magnetic nanoparticles can be used in combination with a miniaturized nuclear magnetic resonance device to quickly identify a bacterial species in clinical samples.

    • Alan McNally
  • News & Views |

    The design of specific nanostructured optical gratings allows the realization of efficient traps for a large number of cold atoms.

    • Jérôme Estève
  • News & Views |

    The circulation direction of magnetization in magnetic vortices created in skewed nanodisks can be reversed using nanosecond field pulses.

    • Riccardo Hertel

Letters

Articles

Correction

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