Vibrational manipulation by microwave
Operations targeting the oscillation of an atom in a trap are normally carried out by Raman lasers, using a two-photon process and taking the momentum difference between two photons to supply the missing momentum. This is a successful technique for cooling atoms into the ground state to allow demanding coherence experiments. Our state-dependent lattice opens a second way to vibrational manipulation: A slight state-dependent shift offsets the traps for the two spin states, causing a normal spin-flip operation to shift the atom in space. Correctly tuned, this shift supplies the necessary momentum, allowing sideband transitions using a single-photon microwave transition. The strength of this technique is the reliable ground state cooling, while also allowing high sidebands to be driven. Using sideband transitions also allows us to characterize the vibrational state distribution of an atom to monitor transitions induced by transport. Read our publication.