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Prospects for atomic clocks based on large ion crystals.



John J. Bollinger, Kyle Arnold, Elnur Haciyev, Chern Hui Lee, Eduardo Paez, M. D. Barrett


We investigate the feasibility of precision frequency metrology with large ion crystals. For clock candidates with a negative differential static polarisability, we show that micromotion effects should not impede the performance of the clock. Using Lu+ as a specific example, we show that quadruple shifts due to the electric fields from neighboring ions do not significantly impact on clock performance. We also show that effects from the tensor polarisability can be effectively managed with a compensation laser at least for a small number of ions (3). These results hail a new era for ion-based atomic clocks, allowing them to achieve stability levels comparable to neutral atoms in optical lattices and a viable path to greater levels of accuracy.
Physical Review A


atomic clocks, ion crystals, ion traps, optical frequency metrology, scalar polarisability, tensor polarisability


Bollinger, J. , Arnold, K. , Haciyev, E. , Hui, C. , Paez, E. and Barrett, M. (2015), Prospects for atomic clocks based on large ion crystals., Physical Review A, [online], (Accessed April 19, 2024)
Created September 8, 2015, Updated May 3, 2017