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Laser cooling and trapping of ions, atoms and molecules

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In the first part of this talk I report on work aimed towards realising Quantum Information Processing with single 40Ca+ ions in a Penning trap, where trapping is achieved using static electric and magnetic fields. Unlike RF traps, in the Penning trap there is no heating due to micromotion. Therefore the qubit should in principle have a longer decoherence time. However due to the Zeeman splitting of the levels, more lasers and also a stable magnetic field are usually needed. In the second part two related schemes for trapping and cooling of atoms and molecules in micron-size mirror arrays are presented. We investigate micro-mirror trapping using the dipole force and micro-MOTs with permanent magnets in arrays of hemispherical mirrors, which are made in house using “wet chemistry” electroplating. In our experiment Rb atoms are first trapped in a magneto-optical trap close to the surface and then released onto the hemispherical mirrors. In the third part mirror-mediated cooling will be briefly mentioned. Mirror-mediated cooling is an off-resonant laser cooling technique similar to cavity-mediated cooling but using only a single mirror. In this technique the light’s time delay between the particle and its mirror image could result in a friction force. [1] D. Crick, H. Ohadi, I. Bhatti, R.C. Thompson and D.M. Segal, Optics Express 16:2351 (2007) [2] H. Ohadi, M. Himsworth, A. Xuereb and T. Freegarde Optics Express 17:23003 (2009) [3] A. Xuereb, P. Horak and T. Freegarde, Phys Rev A 80 :013836 (2009) [4] P. N. Bartlett, P. R. Birkin and M. A. Ghanem, Chem. Commun. 1671 (2000)

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