We describe a novel method of fabricating atom chips that are well suited to the production and manipulation of atomic Bose-Einstein condensates. Our chip was created using a silver foil and simple micro-cutting techniques without the need for photolithography. It can sustain larger currents than conventional chips, and is compatible with the patterning of complex trapping potentials. A near pure Bose-Einstein condensate of 4 × 10 (487) Rb atoms has been created in a magnetic microtrap formed by currents through wires on the chip. We have observed the fragmentation of atom clouds in close proximity to the silver conductors. The fragmentation has different characteristic features to those seen with copper conductors.
Journal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics,
Vol. 37, no. 14 (Jul 2004), pp. 2959-2967