Efficient all-optical production of large 6Li quantum gases

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The quest to develop new and efficient experimental schemes to produce large and highly degenerate fermionic samples is fundamental in the way of using them to study fermionic superfluidity with a high degree of control on properties as interaction strength and dimensionality. 6Li samples of two spin components offers a broad Feshbach resonance allowing a good tenability of the interactions and the ability to investigate superfluidity across the BEC-BCS crossover. On the other way, standard laser cooling configurations are not efficient due to the lack of sub-Doppler cooling mechanism on the D2 line. We use a gray molasses operating on the D1 atomic transition to produce degenerate quantum gases of 6Li with a large number of atoms. This sub-Doppler cooling phase allows us to lower the initial temperature of 109 atoms from 500 to 40 μK in 2 ms. We observe that D1 cooling remains effective into a high-intensity infrared dipole trap where two-state mixtures are evaporated to reach the degenerate regime. We produce molecular Bose-Einstein condensates of up to 5×105 molecules and weakly interacting degenerate Fermi gases of 7×105 atoms at T/TF

A. Burchianti et al.
Efficient all-optical production of large 6Li quantum gases using D1 gray-molasses cooling
Phys. Rev. A 90, 043408 (2014)