University of Freiburg

Institute of Physics

Experimental Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics


Trapping Ions and Ions Coulomb Crystals in Optical Fields

Trapped ions and ion-Coulomb-crystals are a widely employed platform for quantum simulations. However the micromotion in conventional radiofrequency ion traps, limits coherence for ion-crystals and leads to heating in hybrid ion-atom systems. Optical traps offer a way to circumvent these effects. Additionally, the dependence of optical potentials on the internal electronic states of the ions and the possibility to create complex trap geometries through interference make them interesting candidates for future ion-trapping experiments, also in the context of hybrid atom-ion setups.

In this project we work on extending the optical trapping platform to small linear ion-crystals in a 1-d optical lattice. This lattice generates an array of microtraps along the crystal axis in which the ions of the crystal can be individually trapped. We load the lattice by transferring a Doppler-cooled ion-crystal from  a linear radiofrequency trap into the lattice. By applying additional electric fields during optical trapping, we are able to manipulate the ions motion, to probe the confinement of the ions by the lattice.