Moktadir, Z, Darquie, B, Kraft, M and Hinds, E. A.
The effect of self-affine fractal roughness of wires on atom chips.
Journal of Modern Optics, (54:13), .
Atom chips use current flowing in lithographically patterned wires to produce microscopic magnetic traps for atoms. The density distribution of a trapped cold atom cloud reveals disorder in the trapping potential, which results from meandering current flow in the wire. Roughness in the edges of the wire is usually the main cause of this behaviour. Here, we point out that the edges of microfabricated wires normally exhibit self-affine roughness. We investigate the consequences of this for disorder in atom traps. In particular, we consider how closely the trap can approach the wire when there is a maximum allowable strength of the disorder. We comment on the role of roughness in future atom–surface interaction experiments.
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