Abstract

The use of a TEM01*-mode laser beam has been proposed as a means of focusing an atomic beam to nanometer- scale spot diameters. We have analyzed the classical trajectories of atoms through a TEM01*-mode laser beam, using methods developed for particle optics. The differential equation that describes the properties of the: first- order paraxial lens hi exactly the same form as the bell-shaped magnetic Newtonian lens that was first analyzed by Glaser for the focusing of electrons in an electron-microscope objective. We calculate the first-order properties of the lens, obtaining cardinal elements that are valid over the entire operating range of the lens including the thick and the immersion regimes. Contributions to the spot size are discussed, including four aberrations plus diffraction and atomic-beam-collimation effects. Explicit expressions for spherical chromatic, spontaneous-emission, and dipole-fluctuation aberrations are obtained. Examples are discussed for a sodium atomic beam, showing that subnanometer-diameter spots may be achieved with reasonable laser and atomic- beam parameters. Optimization of the lens is also discussed.

© 1991 Optical Society of America

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