Three-Dimensional Imaging of Trapped Cold Atoms with a Light Field Microscope

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This research images trapped atoms in three dimensions, utilizing light field imaging. Such a system is of interest in the development of atom interferometer accelerometers in dynamic systems where strictly defined focal planes may be impractical. In this research, a light field microscope was constructed utilizing a Lytro Development Kit micro lens array and sensor. It was used to image fluorescing rubidium atoms in a magneto optical trap. The three-dimensional (3D) volume of the atoms is reconstructed using a modeled point spread function (PSF), taking into consideration that the low magnification (1.25) of the system changed typical assumptions used in the optics model for the PSF. The 3D reconstruction is analyzed with respect to a standard off-axis fluorescence image. Optical axis separation between two atom clouds is measured to a 100 μm accuracy in a 3 mm deep volume, with a 16 μm in-focus standard resolution with a 3.9 mm by 3.9 mm field of view. Optical axis spreading is observed in the reconstruction and discussed. The 3D information can be used to determine properties of the atom cloud with a single camera and single image, and can be applied anywhere 3D information is needed but optical access may be limited. Abstract © OSA.


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Applied Optics