Dynamics of axialized laser-cooled ions in a Penning trap


We report the experimental characterization of axialization—a method of reducing the magnetron motion of a small number of ions stored in a Penning trap. This is an important step in the investigation of the suitability of Penning traps for quantum-information processing. The magnetron motion was coupled to the laser-cooled modified cyclotron motion by the application of a near-resonant oscillating quadrupole potential (the “axialization drive”). Measurement of cooling rates of the radial motions of the ions showed an order-of-magnitude increase in the damping rate of the magnetron motion with the axialization drive applied. The experimental results are in good qualitative agreement with a recent theoretical study. In particular, a classical avoided crossing was observed in the motional frequencies as the axialization drive frequency was swept through the optimum value, proving that axialization is indeed a resonant effect.

Physical Review A