- Fluorescence line profiles and their implications on the cooling dynamics of the Mg+ ions stored in a linear rf trap are studied. The line profile is dictated by the temperature of the ion cloud at different laser detunings. The upper bound of the lowest temperature was estimated for different values of the rf trapping potential amplitude and the buffer gas pressure. A general trend of this ultimate temperature to increase with the rf trapping voltage and buffer gas pressure is expected, with an abrupt change at some critical value corresponding to the transition to and from a strongly correlated liquid or crystal state. While on the one hand this expectation was confirmed when the buffer gas pressure was varied; on the other hand the influence of the amplitude of the trapping voltage on the ultimate temperature shows an interesting new feature of first dipping down before the sharp increase occurs. 2006 The American Physical Society.