optical dipole trap

An optical dipole trap is a type of atom trap that uses only laser light to trap atoms. The laser frequency is tuned to a frequency below an atomic resonance so the atoms do not absorb laser photons as they do in laser cooling or in a MOT. Instead, the electric field from the laser induces an electric dipole in the atoms that attracts them to regions of more intense laser light. Optical dipole traps are only strong enough to hold cold atoms, so atoms are typically cooled first and then transferred into the dipole trap.