Experimental techniques for cold chemistry and molecular spectroscopy in an ion trap

Sheridan, Kevin Thomas (2013) Experimental techniques for cold chemistry and molecular spectroscopy in an ion trap. Doctoral thesis (PhD), University of Sussex.

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A range of experimental techniques for application in reaction studies between ionic and neutral atoms/molecules and high resolution spectroscopy experiments with sympathetically cooled molecular ions are presented.

A novel ion trap loading scheme using the photo-ionisation of atoms generated by the pulsed laser ablation of a solid calcium target has been characterised. We have identified
the range of ablation laser fluences that must be used in order to produce a flux of neutral calcium atoms, which is a prerequisite for isotope selective ion trap loading.

Calcium ions are trapped and laser cooled in a linear radio-frequency ion trap. We have developed a spectroscopy scheme that allows the entire fluorescence spectrum of trapped
ions to be rapidly collected with high precision while maintaining a low ion temperature and good ion localisation throughout interrogation. The scheme has been demonstrated
by measuring the saturation intensity of the calcium ion 4S1/2→4P1/2 transition.

We have developed a novel scheme to measure the secular motion of trapped ions and demonstrated the application of the technique to ion-neutral collision reaction experiments.
Employing pulsed excitation and Doppler velocimetry, we have measured the centre-of-mass mode frequency of single ions as well as large ion crystals with a frequency precision
better than 2x10-3 within an interrogation time on the order of seconds. This method has been used to measure the mass of ions and observe charge exchange collisions between
trapped calcium isotopes. In particular, we have measured the 44Ca++40Ca!40Ca++44Ca reaction cross section and demonstrated the single-event resolution of the technique.

Finally, we have developed a novel all-optical broadband scheme for exciting, amplifying and measuring the secular motion of ions in the trap. Oscillation induced by optical
excitation has been coherently amplified to control and measure the ion's secular motion. Requiring only a single interrogation laser, the ion's oscillation amplitude can be precisely controlled. The application of this technique to non-destructive spectroscopy of trapped molecular ions is discussed.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences > Physics and Astronomy
Subjects: Q Science > QC Physics > QC0474 Radiation physics (General)
Q Science > QD Chemistry > QD0071 Analytical chemistry
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 29 Nov 2013 16:02
Last Modified: 17 Sep 2015 13:15
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/47145

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