Gray molasses cooling of K 39 atoms in optical tweezers

Jackson Ang'Ong'A, Chenxi Huang, Jacob P. Covey, Bryce Gadway

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Robust cooling and nondestructive imaging are prerequisites for many emerging applications of neutral atoms trapped in optical tweezers, such as their use in quantum information science and analog quantum simulation. The tasks of cooling and imaging can be challenged, however, by the presence of large trap-induced shifts of their respective optical transitions. Here, we explore a system of K39 atoms trapped in a near-detuned (780nm) optical tweezer, which leads to relatively minor differential (ground versus excited state) Stark shifts. We demonstrate that simple and robust loading, cooling, and imaging can be achieved through combined addressing of the D1 and D2 transitions. While imaging on the D2 transition, we can simultaneously apply Λ-enhanced gray molasses (GM) on the D1 transition, preserving low backgrounds for single-atom imaging through spectral filtering. Using D1 cooling during and after trap loading, we demonstrate enhanced loading efficiencies as well as cooling to low temperatures. These results suggest a simple and robust path for loading and cooling large arrays of potassium atoms in optical tweezers through the use of resource-efficient near-detuned optical tweezers and GM cooling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberA185
JournalPhysical Review Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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