We describe the loading of laser-cooled rubidium atoms into a single-mode hollow-core photonic-crystal fiber. Inside the fiber, the atoms are confined by a far-detuned optical trap and probed by a weak resonant beam. We describe different loading methods and compare their trade-offs in terms of implementation complexity and atom-loading efficiency. The most efficient procedure results in loading of ~30,000 rubidium atoms, which creates a medium with optical depth ~180 inside the fiber. Compared to our earlier study this represents a six-fold increase in maximum achieved optical depth in this system.Comment: 10 pages, 9 figure
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