ABSTRACT: We propose to apply atom-chip techniques to the trapping
of a single atom in a circular Rydberg state. The small size of
microfabricated structures will allow for trap geometries with
microwave cut-off frequencies high enough to inhibit the spontaneous
emission of the Rydberg atom, paving the way to complete control of
both external and internal degrees of freedom over very long times.
Trapping is achieved using carefully designed electric fields,
created by a simple pattern of electrodes. We show that it is
possible to excite, and then trap, one and only one Rydberg atom
from a cloud of ground state atoms confined on a magnetic atom chip,
itself integrated with the Rydberg trap. Distinct internal states of
the atom are simultaneously trapped, providing us with a two-level
system extremely attractive for atom-surface and atom-atom
interaction studies. We describe a method for reducing by three
orders of magnitude dephasing due to Stark shifts, induced by the
trapping field, of the internal transition frequency. This allows
for, in combination with spin-echo techniques, maintenance of an
internal coherence over times in the second range. This method
operates via a controlled light shift rendering the two internal
states’ Stark shifts almost identical. We thoroughly identify and
account for sources of imperfection in order to verify at each step
the realism of our proposal.
European Physical Journal D - EUR PHYS J D. 01/2005; 35(1):43-57.