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 journalArticle


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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    Franke-Arnold, S., Leach, J., Padgett, M. J., Lembessis, V. E., Ellinas, D., Wright, A. J., Girkin, J. M., Ohberg, P., & Arnold, A. S. (2007). Optical ferris wheel for ultracold atoms. Optics Express, 15(14), 8619-8625. https://doi.org/10.1364/OE.15.008619