A single ion headlight

21.06.2013, 00:00

Newsletter 6

Fundamental research in both quantum optics and optical quantum information technology profits tremendously from efficient interaction of light with material quantum objects. Any tool mediating such interaction should efficiently couple the incident field to the quantum object, or collect photons emerging from the quantum object with high efficiency. Our solution to both requirements is to employ a sufficiently deep parabolic mirror hosting a single ion. The metallic parabolic mirror is used both as the focusing or collimation optics and as one electrode of an ion trap. Additional trap electrodes are housed inside the parabolic mirror by means of a bore collinear to the optical axis of the mirror. The mirror covers 81% of the solid angle and enables coupling strengths, to a linear dipole, of up to 94 % of the maximum possible value in free space. With this set-up we have successfully trapped single Yb ions in the focus of the parabolic mirror. Collection rates leaving the parabolic mirror were as high as 30 million photons per second, making the system a bright single ion headlight.

Contact: markus.sondermann(at)mpl.mpg(dot)de
Group: Leuchs Division
Reference: R. Maiwald et al., Phys. Rev. A 86, 043431 (2012).