2-7 June 2019
Simon Fraser University
America/Vancouver timezone
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51 - Precision characterization of the linear-zigzag transition in ultracold trapped ion crystals

4 Jun 2019, 17:17
SWH 9082 + AQ South-East Corner / coin sud-est (Simon Fraser University)

SWH 9082 + AQ South-East Corner / coin sud-est

Simon Fraser University

Poster Competition (Graduate Student) / Compétition affiches (Étudiant(e) 2e ou 3e cycle) Division of Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics, Canada / Division de la physique atomique, moléculaire et photonique, Canada (DAMOPC-DPAMPC) DAMOPC Poster Session & Student Poster Competition Finals (26) | Session d'affiches DPAMPC et finales du concours d'affiches étudiantes (26)


Mr Brendin T Chow (Department of Physics, Simon Fraser University)


In a linear Paul ion-trap, the structural transition from a 1-D linear chain of ions to a 2-D zigzag structure, known as the linear-zigzag transition, is a well-known behavior for crystals of laser cooled, trapped ions. Here we present the first studies of the linear-zigzag transition at ultracold temperatures following cooling to near the ground-state of motion. We characterize the transition using Raman sideband spectroscopy , revealing the shape of the effective potential near the critical point and thereby the nature of the transition. In an ideal linear Paul trap, the linear-zigzag transition is associated with the onset of a symmetric double-well potential that is indicative of its continuous nature . Experimentally in our setup, we observe a bias in the double-well potential near the critical point; we attribute this to small asymmetries in the ion trap . We also observe a shift in the critical point of approximately 0.5% from the value predicted in the pseudopotential approximation for the ion trap , consistent with the effect of micromotion on the ions in the radio-frequency trap. At a technical level, our spectroscopic measurements of the linear-zigzag transition are enabled by a high level of long-term trap stability over the duration of data acquisition. This work sets the stage for measurements of coherent effects near the critical point.

Primary author

Mr Brendin T Chow (Department of Physics, Simon Fraser University)


Mr Mahdi Qaryan (Department of Physics, Simon Fraser University) Mr Jie Zhang (Interdisciplinary Center of Quantum Information, National University of Defense Technology) Dr Paul C Haljan (Department of Physics, Simon Fraser University)

Presentation Materials