Following the advent of laser cooling and trapping techniques in the 1980s, a new exciting area of research, 'atom chips', has emerged in which sophisticated micron-scale structures on planar substrates are produced utilizing the latest technological developments in lithography and nanofabrication. These complex microstructures produce tiny magnetic field configurations which can trap, cool, and manipulate ensembles of ultra-cold atoms in the vicinity of a surface. Scaling down the dimensions of atom trapping geometry offers extended possibilities for the production and control of Bose-Einstein condensates (BECs). Enormous progress on the generation of BECs and quantum degenerate Fermi gases, on-chip matter-wave interferometers, and integrated detectors has been made in the last few years.
Atom chips / Jacob Reichel and Vladan Vuletic (eds.),
chapter 1, pp. 3-31