Optimal binary gratings for multi-wavelength magneto-optical traps


Grating magneto-optical traps are an enabling quantum technology for portable metrological devices with ultracold atoms. However, beam diffraction efficiency and angle are affected by wavelength, creating a single-optic design challenge for laser cooling in two stages at two distinct wavelengths – as commonly used for loading, e.g., Sr or Yb atoms into optical lattice or tweezer clocks. Here, we optically characterize a wide variety of binary gratings at different wavelengths to find a simple empirical fit to experimental grating diffraction efficiency data in terms of dimensionless etch depth and period for various duty cycles. The model avoids complex 3D light-grating surface calculations, yet still yields results accurate to a few percent across a broad range of parameters. Gratings optimized for two (or more) wavelengths can now be designed in an informed manner suitable for a wide class of atomic species enabling advanced quantum technologies.

Optics Express