Phys. Rev. Lett. 126 (2021)
Elisa Will, Luke Masters, Arno Rauschenbeutel, Michael Scheucher, and Jürgen Volz
We demonstrate trapping of a single 85Rb atom at a distance of about 200 nm from the surface of a whispering-gallery-mode bottle microresonator. The atom is trapped in an optical potential, which is created by retroreflecting a red-detuned focused laser beam from the resonator surface. We counteract the trap-induced light shift of the atomic transition frequency by superposing a second laser beam. This allows us to observe a vacuum Rabi splitting in the excitation spectrum of the coupled atom-resonator system. This first demonstration of stable and controlled interaction of a single atom with a whispering-gallery mode in the strong coupling regime opens up the route toward the implementation of quantum protocols and applications that harvest the chiral atom-light coupling present in this class of resonators.