Two-ion Coulomb crystals of Ca+ in a Penning trap


Results demonstrating laser cooling and observation of individual calcium ions in a Penning trap are presented. We show that we are able to trap, cool, image and manipulate the shape of very small ensembles of ions sufficiently well to produce two-ion textquoteleftCoulomb crystalstextquoteright aligned along the magnetic field of a Penning trap. Images are presented which show the individual ions to be resolved in a two-ion crystal. A distinct change in the configuration of such a crystal is observed as the experimental parameters are changed. These structures could eventually be used as building blocks in a Penning trap based quantum computer.

Optics Express