Paper on Imaging and Localizing Individual Atoms Interfaced with a Nanophotonic Waveguide published

Y. Meng, C. Liedl, S. Pucher, A. Rauschenbeutel, and P. Schneeweiss

Single particle-resolved fluorescence imaging is an enabling technology in cold-atom physics. However, so far, this technique has not been available for nanophotonic atom-light interfaces. Here, we image single atoms that are trapped and optically interfaced using an optical nanofiber. Near-resonant light is scattered off the atoms and imaged while counteracting heating mechanisms via degenerate Raman cooling. We detect trapped atoms within 150 ms and record image sequences of given atoms. Building on our technique, we perform two experiments which are conditioned on the number and position of the nanofiber-trapped atoms. We measure the transmission of nanofiber-guided resonant light and verify its exponential scaling in the few-atom limit, in accordance with Beer-Lambert’s law. Moreover, depending on the interatomic distance, we observe interference of the fields that two simultaneously trapped atoms emit into the nanofiber. The demonstrated technique enables postselection and possible feedback schemes and thereby opens the road toward a new generation of experiments in quantum nanophotonics.

Individual atoms (yellow) in the vicinity of a nano glass fiber are photographed with a sensitive camera. A laser beam is used to illuminate the atoms.