A Dynamic Ion-Atom Hybrid Trap for High-Resolution Cold-Collision Studies
ChemPhysChem, 17(22), pp 3769-3775, 2016-11
We present a dynamic ion-atom hybrid trap for studies of cold ion-neutral collisions and reactions with a significantly improved energy resolution compared with previous experiments. Our approach is based on pushing a cloud of laser-cooled Rb atoms through a stationary Coulomb crystal of cold ions by using precisely controlled, tunable radiation pressure forces. We demonstrate the tuning of the atom kinetic energies over an interval ranging from 30mK up to 350mK with energy spreads as low as 24mK, inferred from the comparison of experimental time-of-flight measurements with Monte Carlo trajectory simulations. We also demonstrate the first applications of our method to the investigation of chemical reactions. Our development opens up perspectives for accurate studies of the energy dependence of the reaction rates, the dynamics, and the reaction-product ratios of the ion-neutral processes in the cold regime. It also paves the way for the realization of fully energy- and state-controlled cold-collision experiments.
cold atoms; cold chemistry; cold ions; cold molecules; hybrid traps