Abstract

We report a two-chambered, differentially pumped system that permits rapid collection of trapped atoms with a vapor cell magneto-optical trap (MOT) and efficient transfer of these atoms to a second MOT in a lower-pressure chamber. During the transfer the atoms are guided down a long, thin tube by a magnetic potential, with 90(15%) transfer efficiency. By multiply loading, we accumulate and hold as many as 30 times the number collected by the vapor cell MOT. By thus separating the collection and holding functions of a MOT, we can collect as many as 1.5(0.6) × 1010 rubidium atoms and hold them for longer than 100 s, using inexpensive low-power diode lasers.

© 1996 Optical Society of America

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