A single-atom detector integrated on an atom chip: Fabrication, characterization and application

  • Heine D
  • Rohringer W
  • Fischer D
 et al. 
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We describe a robust and reliable fluorescence detector for single atoms that is fully integrated into an atom chip. The detector allows spectrally and spatially selective detection of atoms, reaching a single atom detection efficiency of 66%. It consists of a tapered lensed single-mode fiber for precise delivery of excitation light and a multi-mode fiber to collect the fluorescence. The fibers are mounted in lithographically defined holding structures on the atom chip. Neutral 87Rb atoms propagating freely in a magnetic guide are detected and the noise of their fluorescence emission is analyzed. The variance of the photon distribution allows to determine the number of detected photons / atom and from there the atom detection efficiency. The second order intensity correlation function of the fluorescence shows near-perfect photon anti-bunching and signs of damped Rabi-oscillations. With simple improvements one can boost the detection efficiency to > 95%.

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  • D. Heine

  • W. Rohringer

  • D. Fischer

  • M. Wilzbach

  • T. Raub

  • S. Loziczky

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