Physicists at the University of Konstanz in Germany withdraw argon atoms from a magneto- optic trap (MOT) and then use a combination of laser beams to reflect and position the atoms in a thin layer parallel to a gold surface. Two laser beams (depicted by the blue and green arrows) help to slow and focus atoms from below the thin gold boundary. Another laser (magenta arrow) serves to confine the atoms to a nearly flat cloud. In effect the atoms are held in a 2-dimensional waveguide.
This research is reported by physicists at the University of Konstanz in an upcoming issue of Physical Review Letters.