Magneto-optical trapping of barium

S. De, U. Dammalapati, K. Jungmann, L. Willmann

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54 Citations (Scopus)


Laser cooling and trapping of the heavy alkaline-earth-metal element barium has been achieved based on the strong 6 s2 S1 0 -6s6p P1 1 transition. The excited state decays to a large fraction into metastable D states. Two schemes were implemented where three additional laser-driven transitions provide closed cooling cycles. This results in a fraction of 50(20)% of the trapped atoms in one of the metastable states. A total efficiency of 0.4 (1) × 10-2 for slowing a thermal atomic beam and capturing atoms into a magneto-optical trap was obtained. Trap lifetimes of more than 1.5 s were observed. They are shortened at high laser intensities by three photon photoionization losses. The developed scheme can be transferred to other systems with large leakage from the cooling transition, such as Ra which is interesting for sensitive fundamental symmetry research.

Original languageEnglish
Article number041402
JournalPhysical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Apr 1
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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