Carleton EXO-experiment Ion Trap Laboratory

Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario
What the facility does

Ba-ion manipulation, ion trapping, optical detection, ion spectroscopy, ion spectrometry, ion charge determination

Area(s) of Expertise

The Carleton EXO-experiment Ion Trap Laboratory performs Ba-136 ion optical identification inside a Paul trap via means of frequency stabilized state-of the-art CW lasers. We also conduct precision optical spectroscopy at the sub-MHz level by applying novel frequency stabilization techniques using ultra-precision wavelength meters optimized for operation in the visible wavelength spectrum. We study ion manipulation using ion guides after extracting ions from a liquid solution or using an ablation source. We have recently purchased a new ionizer with coupling optics to a high-resolution quadrupole spectrometer. This will allow the efficient selection of specific ion isotopes that can then be sent into the ion trap for a more detailed study. In the case of Ba-ion isotopes that can be treated as three-level atoms, the effect of detuning could then be used in order to optically identify and distinguish them. The combination of an ionizer, a high-resolution QMS and the ion-trap, with its optical detection capabilities, will form a complete diagnostic line, particularly tuned on Ba-ion studies. This is unique infrastructure in Canada. We are already discussing the possibilities of using this infrastructure to study Ba-ion extraction schemes that colleagues at McGill and Carleton Universities have proposed. Over the longer term, we are studying  the feasibility of developing an ultra-stable “hands-free” laser system tuned on a specific atomic transition for deployment in more adverse environments such as the 3-km deep SNOLAB cavern. Eventually, we hope to develop a high-efficiency Ba-ion extraction line from a gas or liquid-phase detector.

Research Services

Laser prototyping for ultra-stable frequency stabilized laser systems, ion manipulation systems’ simulation and design, with emphasis on ion-traps and optical couplings

Sectors of Application
  • Education

Name of equipment in use

Description of function

Frequency stabilized custom laser system, at optical wavelengths

Two CW laser systems complete with frequency stabilization electronics for high-precision optical spectroscopy

Quadrupole cylindrical ion trap

Custom-made cylindrical quadrupole trap for ion trapping and ion spectroscopy

Ion spectrometer system

Custom-made ion extraction, ion guide/SPIG and ion spectrometer

Ionizer with coupling optics, UHV-compatible

Commercial, off-the-shelf ionizer for efficient ion creation and coupling to an ion line