Suitability of linear quadrupole ion traps for large coulomb crystals

D. A. Tabor, V. Rajagopal, Y. W. Lin, B. Odom*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Growing and studying large Coulomb crystals, composed of tens to hundreds of thousands of ions, in linear quadrupole ion traps presents new challenges for trap implementation. We consider several trap designs, first comparing the total driven micromotion amplitude as a function of location within the trapping volume; total micromotion is an important point of comparison since it can limit crystal size by transfer of radiofrequency drive energy into thermal energy. We also compare the axial component of micromotion, which leads to first-order Doppler shifts along the preferred spectroscopy axis in precision measurements on large Coulomb crystals. Finally, we compare trapping potential anharmonicity, which can induce nonlinear resonance heating by shifting normal mode frequencies onto resonance as a crystal grows.We apply a nondeforming crystal approximation for simple calculation of these anharmonicity-induced shifts, allowing a straightforward estimation of when crystal growth can lead to excitation of different nonlinear heating resonances. In the anharmonicity point of comparison, we find significant differences between the trap designs, with an original rotatedendcap trap performing better than the conventional in-line endcap trap.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1097-1104
Number of pages8
JournalApplied Physics B: Lasers and Optics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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