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Broadening of the drumhead-mode spectrum due to in-plane thermal fluctuations of two-dimensional trapped ion crystals in a Penning trap

Published

Author(s)

Chen Tang, Athreya Shankar, Daniel Dubin, Dominic Meiser, Scott Parker, John Bollinger

Abstract

Two-dimensional crystals of ions stored in Penning traps are a leading platform for quantum simulation and sensing experiments. For small amplitudes, the out-of-plane motion of such crystals can be described by a discrete set of normal modes called the drumhead modes, which can be used to implement a range of quantum information protocols. However, experimental observations of crystals with Doppler-cooled and even nearground-state-cooled drumhead modes reveal an unresolved drumhead-mode spectrum. In this work, we establish in-plane thermal fluctuations in ion positions as a major contributor to the broadening of the drumhead-mode spectrum. In the process, we demonstrate how the confining magnetic field leads to unconventional in-plane normal modes, whose average potential and kinetic energies are not equal. This property, in turn, has implications for the sampling procedure required to choose the in-plane initial conditions for molecular-dynamics simulations. For current operating conditions of the NIST Penning trap, our study suggests that the two-dimensional crystals produced in this trap undergo in-plane potential-energy fluctuations of the order of 10 mK. Our study therefore motivates the need for designing improved techniques to cool the in-plane degrees of freedom
Citation
Physical Review A

Keywords

Coulomb crystals, cyclotron modes, ExB modes, Penning trap, strongly magnetized, thermal equilibration, trapped ions

Citation

Tang, C. , Shankar, A. , Dubin, D. , Meiser, D. , Parker, S. and Bollinger, J. (2020), Broadening of the drumhead-mode spectrum due to in-plane thermal fluctuations of two-dimensional trapped ion crystals in a Penning trap, Physical Review A, [online], https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevA.102.053106, https://tsapps.nist.gov/publication/get_pdf.cfm?pub_id=932405 (Accessed September 27, 2022)
Created May 11, 2020, Updated January 4, 2022