Stand-alone vacuum cell for compact ultracold quantum technologies

Burrow, Oliver S. and Osborn, Paul F. and Boughton, Edward and Mirando, Francesco and Burt, David P. and Griffin, Paul F. and Arnold, Aidan S. and Riis, Erling (2021) Stand-alone vacuum cell for compact ultracold quantum technologies. Applied Physics Letters, 119 (12). 124002. ISSN 0003-6951 (

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Compact vacuum systems are key enabling components for cold atom technologies, facilitating extremely accurate sensing applications. There has been important progress toward a truly portable compact vacuum system; however, size, weight, and power consumption can be prohibitively large, optical access may be limited, and active pumping is often required. Here, we present a centiliter-scale ceramic vacuum chamber with He-impermeable viewports and an integrated diffractive optic, enabling robust laser cooling with light from a single polarization-maintaining fiber. A cold atom demonstrator based on the vacuum cell delivers 10 7 laser-cooled 87Rb atoms per second, using minimal electrical power. With continuous Rb gas emission, active pumping yields a 17 day time constant. A vacuum cell, with no Rb dispensing and only passive pumping, has currently kept a similar pressure for more than 500 days. The passive-pumping vacuum lifetime is several years, which is estimated from short-term He throughput with many foreseeable improvements. This technology enables wide-ranging mobilization of ultracold quantum metrology.