Isotope selective loading of an ion trap using resonance-enhanced two-photon ionization
- Cite this article as:
- Kjaergaard, N., Hornekaer, L., Thommesen, A. et al. Appl Phys B (2000) 71: 207. doi:10.1007/s003400000296
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We have demonstrated that resonance-enhanced two-photon ionization of atomic beams provides an effective tool for isotope selective loading of ions into a linear Paul trap. Using a tunable, narrow-bandwidth, continuous wave (cw) laser system for the ionization process, we have succeeded in producing Mg+ and Ca+ ions at rates controlled by the atomic beam flux, the laser intensity, and the laser frequency detuning from resonance. We have observed that with a proper choice of control parameters, it is rather easy to load a specific number of ions into a string. This observation has direct applications in quantum optics and quantum computation experiments. Furthermore, resonant photo-ionization loading facilitates the formation of large isotope-pure Coulomb crystals.