Submicrometer position control of single trapped neutral atoms

Dotsenko, I and Alt, W and Khudaverdyan, M and Kuhr, S and Meschede, D and Miroshnychenko, Y and Schrader, D and Rauschenbeutel, A (2005) Submicrometer position control of single trapped neutral atoms. Physical Review Letters, 95 (3). 033002. ISSN 1079-7114 (

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We optically detect the positions of single neutral cesium atoms stored in a standing wave dipole trap with a subwavelength resolution of 143 nm rms. The distance between two simultaneously trapped atoms is measured with an even higher precision of 36 nm rms. We resolve the discreteness of the interatomic distances due to the 532 nm spatial period of the standing wave potential and infer the exact number of trapping potential wells separating the atoms. Finally, combining an initial position detection with a controlled transport, we place single atoms at a predetermined position along the trap axis to within 300 nm rms.