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Ultracold atoms can be manipulated using microfabricated devices known as atom chips. These have significant potential for applications in sensing, metrology, and quantum information processing. To date, the chips are loaded by transfer of atoms from an external macroscopic magnetooptical trap (MOT) into microscopic traps on the chip. This transfer involves a series of steps, which complicate the experimental procedure and lead to atom losses. In this paper, we present a design for integrating a MOT into a silicon wafer by combining a concave pyramidal mirror with a square wire loop. We describe how an array of such traps has been fabricated, and we present magnetic, thermal, and optical properties of the chip.
Date of Publication: April 2009