Laser cooling of thulium atoms Academic Article uri icon


  • We demonstrated laser cooling and trapping of thulium atoms at sub-Doppler temperatures in a magneto-optical trap (MOT). Up to 3 × 10 6 thulium atoms were trapped in the MOT at temperatures down to 25(5) μK which is approximately 10 times lower than the Doppler limit. The lifetime of atoms in the MOT varied between 0.3-1.5 s and was restricted mostly by optical leaks from the upper cooling level. The lower limit for the leaking rate was estimated to be 22(6) s -1 . Due to a big magnetic moment of Tm atoms, a part of them were trapped in a magnetic trap from the quadrupole field of the MOT. We observed about 3 × 10 4 purely magnetically trapped atoms at temperature of 25 μK with a lifetime in the trap of 0.5 s. Also we set up a "dark" MOT consisting of six crossed hollow beams which increased the number of trapped atoms by a factor of 5 leading to 1.5 × 10 7 atoms at the expense of higher temperature. © Pleiades Publishing, Ltd., 2011.

author list (cited authors)

  • Sukachev, D., Chebakov, K., Sokolov, A., Akimov, A., Kolachevsky, N., & Sorokin, V.

citation count

  • 5

publication date

  • October 2011