Abstract

We report on the sub-Doppler laser cooling of neutral Yb171 and Yb173 in a magneto-optical trap (MOT) using the S10P11 transition at 398.9 nm. We use two independent means to estimate the temperature of the atomic cloud for several of the Yb isotopes. The two methods of MOT cloud imaging and release-and-recapture show consistency with one another. Temperatures below 400 and 200 μK are recorded for Yb171 and Yb173, respectively, while 1mK is measured for both Yb172 and Yb174. By comparison, the associated one-dimensional Doppler cooling temperature limit is 694 μK. The sub-Doppler cooling of the I=1/2 Yb171 isotope in a σ+σ light-field trap adds further evidence that the Sisyphus cooling mechanism is occurring in such three-dimensional MOTs.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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