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Proceedings Paper

Recent progress of laser cooling for neutral mercury atom
Author(s): Kang-Kang Liu; Ru-Chen Zhao; Xiao-Hu Fu; Jin-Meng Hu; Yan Feng; Zhen Xu; Yu-Zhu Wang
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Paper Abstract

Mercury is the heaviest stable atom that could be laser cooled, and have a large nuclear charge number. So it has a distinct advantage in quantum precision measurement such as fine-structure constant α and permanent electric dipole moment. Due to its insensitivity of black body radiation, atomic mercury is a good candidate of optical clock. Here we report our recent development of laser cooling of neutral mercury atom. By cooling the mercury source to about -70°C, an ultra-high vacuum system was realized to produce ultracold mercury atoms. The commercial frequency quadrupled semiconductor laser is locked on the cooling transition (1S0-3P1 transition, wavelength of 253.7 nm) by sub-Doppler frequency modulation spectroscopy. By the modification with feed-forward method, the UV laser becomes faster tunable and more stable. A folded beam configuration was used to realize the magneto-optical trap (MOT) because of the shortage of cooling laser power, and the ultracold mercury atoms were observed by fluorescence detection. All of six rich abundant isotopes have been observed, and the atom number is about 1.5×106 with density of 3.5×109 /cm3 for 202Hg. With optical shutter and the programmable system to control the time sequence, the temperature of ultracold atoms can be measured by time of flight method. To enhance the laser power, a 1014.8 nm fiber laser amplifier was developed, which can work at room temperature. After two stages of frequency doubling, about 75 mW of 253.7 nm UV laser were generated, and the saturated absorption spectroscopy of mercury atom was also observed. More power of UV laser could help to trap more atoms in the future. These works laid a good foundation to realize the mercury lattice clock.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 November 2014
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 9269, Quantum and Nonlinear Optics III, 92690T (18 November 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2073328
Show Author Affiliations
Kang-Kang Liu, Shanghai Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics (China)
Key Lab. of Quantum Optics (China)
Univ. of Chinese Academy of Sciences (China)
Ru-Chen Zhao, Shanghai Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics (China)
Key Lab. of Quantum Optics (China)
Univ. of Chinese Academy of Sciences (China)
Xiao-Hu Fu, Shanghai Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics (China)
Key Lab. of Quantum Optics (China)
Univ. of Chinese Academy of Sciences (China)
Jin-Meng Hu, Shanghai Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics (China)
Shanghai Key Lab. of Solid State Laser and Application (China)
Univ. of Chinese Academy of Sciences (China)
Yan Feng, Shanghai Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics (China)
Shanghai Key Lab. of Solid State Laser and Application (China)
Zhen Xu, Shanghai Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics (China)
Key Lab. of Quantum Optics (China)
Yu-Zhu Wang, Shanghai Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics (China)
Key Lab. of Quantum Optics (China)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9269:
Quantum and Nonlinear Optics III
Qihuang Gong; Guang-Can Guo; Byoung Seung Ham, Editor(s)

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