Narrow-line magneto-optical trap for erbium


We report on the experimental realization of a robust and efficient magneto-optical trap for erbium atoms, based on a narrow cooling transition at 583 nm. We observe up to N=2×10^8 atoms at a temperature of about T=15 μK. This simple scheme provides better starting conditions for direct loading of dipole traps as compared to approaches based on the strong cooling transition alone, or on a combination of a strong and a narrow kHz transition. Our results on Er point to a general, simple, and efficient approach to laser cool samples of other lanthanide atoms (Ho, Dy, and Tm) for the production of quantum-degenerate samples.[more]