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Trapping atoms using nanoscale quantum vacuum forces

Chang, D. E. and Sinha, K. and Taylor, J. M. and Kimble, H. J. (2014) Trapping atoms using nanoscale quantum vacuum forces. Nature Communications, 5 (7). Art. No. 4343. ISSN 2041-1723. PMCID PMC4104435. doi:10.1038/ncomms5343.

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Quantum vacuum forces dictate the interaction between individual atoms and dielectric surfaces at nanoscale distances. For example, their large strengths typically overwhelm externally applied forces, which makes it challenging to controllably interface cold atoms with nearby nanophotonic systems. Here, we show that it is possible to tailor the vacuum forces themselves to provide strong trapping potentials. The trapping scheme takes advantage of the attractive ground state potential and adiabatic dressing with an excited state whose potential is engineered to be resonantly enhanced and repulsive. This procedure yields a strong metastable trap, with the fraction of excited state population scaling inversely with the quality factor of the resonance of the dielectric structure. We analyze realistic limitations to the trap lifetime and discuss possible applications that might emerge from the large trap depths and nanoscale confinement.

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Additional Information:© 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution- NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit We thank N. Stern and O. Painter for helpful discussions. D.E.C. acknowledges support from Fundació Privada Cellex Barcelona. K.S. was funded by the NSF Physics Frontier Center at the JQI. J.M.T. acknowledges funding from the NSF Physics Frontier Center at the JQI and the US Army Research Office MURI award W911NF0910406. H.J.K. acknowledges funding from the IQIM, an NSF Physics Frontier Center with support of the Moore Foundation, by the AFOSR QuMPASS MURI, by the DoD NSSEFF program, and by NSF PHY-1205729.
Group:Institute for Quantum Information and Matter
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Fundació Privada Cellex BarcelonaUNSPECIFIED
NSF Physics Frontier Center at the Joint Quantum Institute (JQI)UNSPECIFIED
Army Research Office (ARO)W911NF0910406
Institute for Quantum Information and Matter (IQIM)UNSPECIFIED
NSF Physics Frontier CenterUNSPECIFIED
Gordon and Betty Moore FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR)UNSPECIFIED
National Security Science and Engineering Faculty FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:7
PubMed Central ID:PMC4104435
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20140717-165445991
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Official Citation:Chang, D. E. et al. Trapping atoms using nanoscale quantum vacuum forces. Nat. Commun. 5:4343 doi: 10.1038/ncomms5343 (2014)
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:47314
Deposited By: Jacquelyn O'Sullivan
Deposited On:19 Jul 2014 16:47
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 17:38

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