All-optical broadband excitation of the motional state of trapped ions
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We have developed a novel all-optical broadband scheme for exciting, amplifying and measuring the secular motion of ions in a radio frequency trap. Requiring only laser line-of-sight, oscillation induced by optical excitation has been coherently amplified to precisely control and measure the ion’s secular motion. Our excitation scheme can generate coherent motion which is robust against variations in the secular frequency. Therefore, our scheme is ideal to excite the desired level of oscillatory motion under conditions where the secular frequency is evolving in time. Measuring the oscillation amplitude through Doppler velocimetry, we have characterized the experimental parameters and compared them with a molecular dynamics simulation which provides a complete description of the system.