Date of Completion
hybrid trap, cold collisions, ion-neutral collisions, ion trapping, laser cooling
Winthrop W. Smith
Susanne F. Yelin
George N. Gibson
Field of Study
Doctor of Philosophy
Dilute ion-neutral gas mixtures are an interesting system to study due to the rich variety and enormous strength of their scattering interactions, especially in the cold and ultracold regimes. Ion-neutral collisions are dominated by long-range polarization potentials that lead to cross sections several orders of magnitude larger than typical neutral-neutral van der Waals interactions. These large ion-neutral interactions can play an important role in atomic and molecular optical physics, astrophysics, and quantum chemistry. Thanks to advances in theoretical modeling of ion-neutral scattering and the development of new ion-neutral hybrid trapping and cooling technology, interest in this previously unexplored area of cold atomic and molecular physics has surged over the past decade.
The ion-neutral hybrid trap, composed of a magneto-optical trap concentric within a linear Paul trap, offers the ideal playground for studying and manipulating ion-neutral interactions over a wide energy range (~ 1 μK - 104 K). This dissertation discusses the development of UConn's hybrid trap, compares experimental measurements of the Na+ - Na system and Ca+ - Na system's low-energy collision rates with previously reported theory, and reports on experimental and simulation results of the sympathetic cooling of Na+ ions by laser cooled Na atoms.
Goodman, Douglas S., "Scattering and Sympathetic Cooling within an Ion-Neutral Hybrid Trap" (2015). Doctoral Dissertations. 855.