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Subwavelength State Selective Atom Localization via STIRAP

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We propose a new method based on the STIRAP technique to obtain state selective atom localization below the diffraction limit. Three-level atoms in a lambda configuration interact with a travelling wave beam and a standing wave field coupled to adjacent transitions under STIRAP conditions. In this configuration, atoms at the nodes of the standing wave do not interact with the light fields and become localized in regions in the nanoscale regime. The absence of interaction of the localized atoms with the fields guarantees the validity of the Raman-Nath approximation. Applications to Bose Einstein condensates, possible due to the full coherence of the STIRAP process, have been explored.

© 2007 Optical Society of America

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