Optical ferris wheel for ultracold atoms

S. Franke-Arnold, J. Leach, M. J. Padgett, V. E. Lembessis, D. Ellinas, A. J. Wright, J. M. Girkin, Patrik Ohberg, A. S. Arnold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

307 Citations (Scopus)


We propose a versatile optical ring lattice suitable for trapping cold and quantum degenerate atomic samples. We demonstrate the realisation of intensity patterns from pairs of Laguerre-Gauss (exp(il?)) modes with different l indices. These patterns can be rotated by introducing a frequency shift between the modes. We can generate bright ring lattices for trapping atoms in red-detuned light, and dark ring lattices suitable for trapping atoms with minimal heating in the optical vortices of blue-detuned light. The lattice sites can be joined to form a uniform ring trap, making it ideal for studying persistent currents and the Mott insulator transition in a ring geometry. © 2007 Optical Society of America.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8619-8625
Number of pages7
JournalOptics Express
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jul 2007


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