The future of atom-ion hybrid systems is in optical ion trapping

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One of the main limitations in state-of-the-art atom-ion experiments is represented by the micromotion component of the ions’ dynamics in a Paul trap that prevents atom-ion mixtures from undergoing a coherent evolution. Overcoming this problem requires a completely new approach to ion trapping. Our solution is a novel micromotion-free electro-optical trap based on the combination of an optical and a static electrostatic field. In this paper, we describe the geometry and the assembly of an electro-optical trap explicitly designed for experiments with atom-ion mixtures, in our case a mixture of Barium ions and Lithium atoms. We also report the results of the numerical simulations performed on the electric and thermal behavior of the trap, providing fundamental information for establishing the trapping potential and the stability region.

E. Perego, et al.
Electro-Optical Ion Trap for Experiments with Atom-Ion Quantum Hybrid Systems
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10, 2222 (2020)