Single ion fluorescence excited with a single mode of an UV frequency comb. Academic Article uri icon


  • Optical frequency combs have revolutionized the measurement of optical frequencies and improved the precision of spectroscopic experiments. Besides their importance as a frequency-measuring ruler, the frequency combs themselves can excite target transitions (direct frequency comb spectroscopy). The direct frequency comb spectroscopy may extend the optical frequency metrology into spectral regions unreachable by continuous wave lasers. In high precision spectroscopy, atoms/ions/molecules trapped in place have been often used as a target to minimize systematic effects. Here, we demonstrate direct frequency comb spectroscopy of single 25Mg ions confined in a Paul trap, at deep-UV wavelengths. Only one mode out of about 20,000 can be resonant at a time. Even then we can detect the induced fluorescence with a spatially resolving single photon camera, allowing us to determine the absolute transition frequency. The demonstration shows that the direct frequency comb spectroscopy is an important tool for frequency metrology for shorter wavelengths where continuous wave lasers are unavailable.Frequency combs are useful tools in high precision measurement including atomic transitions and atomic clocks. Here the authors demonstrate direct frequency comb spectroscopy to shorter wavelengths by probing a transition frequency in a trapped Mg+ ion using a single mode of a UV frequency comb.

published proceedings

  • Nat Commun

author list (cited authors)

  • Ozawa, A., Davila-Rodriguez, J., Bounds, J. R., Schuessler, H. A., Hnsch, T. W., & Udem, T.

publication date

  • January 1, 2017 11:11 AM