Individual Cold Atoms

Quantum Optics with Neutral Atoms

Individual cold atoms are trapped near the surface of a nanophotonic cavity. The atoms are trapped by optical tweezers which are reflected from the nanophotonic surface, forming a standing wave in which the closest trapping potential is only a few hundred nanometers from the cavity surface, enabling strong coupling to the cavity.

Our goal is to build a scalable and efficient platform for implementing quantum networks. Our setup combines the benefits of using neutral atoms as storage qubits and photons as traveling qubits. We trap and cool rubidium atoms in optical tweezers and bring them close to a nanophotonic cavity. At the cavity, photons are confined to a small mode volume and interact strongly with the atoms.

We aim to use these photon-mediated interactions to create entanglement between atoms—a cornerstone for quantum gates. Once we can efficiently create entanglement in a single quantum node, we can work toward building more. The development of nanophotonic devices will pave the way for scalable integrated quantum networks involving many of these atomic nodes connected by optical photons.


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  2. T.G. Tiecke, et. al. Nature 508, 7495: 241-244 (2014).