Dynamics of laser-cooled Ca+ ions in a Penning trap with a rotating wall
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We have performed systematic measurements of the dynamics of laser-cooled 40Ca+ ions confined in a Penning trap and driven by a rotating dipole field (‘rotating wall’). The trap used is a copy of the one used in the SPECTRAP experiment located at the HITRAP facility at GSI, Germany. The size and shape of the ion cloud has been monitored using a CCD camera to image the fluorescence light resulting from excitation by the cooling laser. We have varied the experimental conditions such as amplitude and frequency of the rotating wall drive as well as the trapping parameters. The rotating wall can be used for a radial compression of the ion cloud thus increasing the ion density in the trap. We have also observed plasma mode excitations in agreement with theoretical expectations. This work will allow us to define the optimum parameters for high compression of the ions as needed for precision spectroscopy of forbidden transitions.
This work was supported in part by the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF) (contract: 06DA9020I), by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) (contract: BI647/4-1) and the EPSRC under Grant number EP/D068509/1. We also acknowledge partial support of this work from the European Commission STREP PICC.
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