High resolution adaptive imaging of a single atom

TitleHigh resolution adaptive imaging of a single atom
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsWong-Campos, JD, Johnson, KG, Neyenhuis, B, Mizrahi, J, Monroe, C
JournalNature Photonics
Date Published2016/07/18

We report the optical imaging of a single atom with nanometer resolution using an adaptive optical alignment technique that is applicable to general optical microscopy. By decomposing the image of a single laser-cooled atom, we identify and correct optical aberrations in the system and realize an atomic position sensitivity of ≈ 0.5 nm/Hz−−−√ with a minimum uncertainty of 1.7 nm, allowing the direct imaging of atomic motion. This is the highest position sensitivity ever measured for an isolated atom, and opens up the possibility of performing out-of-focus 3D particle tracking, imaging of atoms in 3D optical lattices or sensing forces at the yoctonewton (10−24 N) scale.