January 17, 2021

An ion microscope to study quantum gases

In our recent paper, which was published in Phys. Rev. X, we present an ion microscope excellently suited for spatially and temporally resolved studies in large volume bulk gases.
[Picture: Celina Brandes]

Our particle-based imaging approach enables the spatially and temporally resolved investigation of vastly different systems such as ground-state samples, Rydberg ensembles or cold ions immersed in quantum gases. The microscope features an excellent time resolution allowing for both the study of dynamic processes and 3D imaging. In contrast to most most quantum gas microscopes, our imaging scheme offers an enormous depth of field and is, therefore, not restricted to two-dimensional systems.

We plan to use our new and powerful tool to extend our studies of cold ion-atom hybrid systems and intend to push the collision energies in these systems to the ultracold regime. Using Rydberg molecules to initialize ion-atom collisions, we envision the imaging of individual scattering events taking place in the quantum regime.

Ion microscope image of a one-dimensional optical lattice with a spacing of 532nm. The inset (i) shows a magnification of the marked rectangular region revealing the spatial resolution power of the instrument.

Phys. Rev. X 11, 011036 – Published 22 February 2021

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