Crystallization of Ca+ ions in a linear rf octupole ion trap Academic Article uri icon


  • A laser-cooling experiment with Ca+ ions trapped in a linear rf octupole ion trap is presented. The phase transition of the laser-cooled Ca+ ions from the cloud to the crystal state is observed by an abrupt dip of the laser-induced fluorescence spectrum and indicates that mK temperatures are obtained. We have also performed molecular dynamics simulations under various conditions to confirm this property by deducing axially symmetric structures of Coulomb crystals and by evaluating the translational temperatures of the laser-cooled ions. The simulation results show that for small numbers of ions novel ring-shaped crystals are produced. As the number of ions is increased, cylindrical layers in the ring crystal are sequentially formed. For more than 100 ions, also hexagonal and spiral structures emerge in parts of the large-size ion crystal, which has a length on the order of millimeters for the present geometrical arrangement and voltages. An advantage of the linear rf octupole trap is its large almost-field-free region in the middle of the trap, where the micromotion amplitude is small for trapped ions. These results demonstrate that such a multipole trap has attractive features for quantum computing and ultracold ion-atom collision studies. 2007 The American Physical Society.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Okada, K., Yasuda, K., Takayanagi, T., Wada, M., Schuessler, H. A., & Ohtani, S.

citation count

  • 42

publication date

  • March 2007