Trapped ion chain thermometry and mass spectrometry through imaging

Vaishnavi Rajagopal, Joan P. Marler, Mark G. Kokish, Brian C. Odom*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


We demonstrate a spatial-imaging thermometry technique for ions in a one-dimensional Coulomb crystal by relating their imaged spatial extent along the linear radiofrequency ion trap axis to normal modes of vibration of coupled oscillators in a harmonic potential. We also use the thermal spatial spread of "bright" ions in the case of a two-species mixed chain to measure the center-of-mass resonance frequency of the entire chain and infer the molecular composition of the co-trapped "dark" ions. These non-destructive techniques create new possibilities for better understanding of sympathetic cooling in mixed-ion chains, improving few-ion mass spectrometry , and trapped-ion thermometry without requiring a scan of Doppler cooling parameters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Mass Spectrometry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 10 2016


  • Brownian motion
  • Driven harmonic oscillator
  • Fluorescence imaging
  • Ion trap
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Thermometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Spectroscopy


Dive into the research topics of 'Trapped ion chain thermometry and mass spectrometry through imaging'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this