Charge exchange and spectroscopy with isolated highly-charged ions

Nicholas D. Guise (NIST), Samuel M. Brewer (University of Maryland), Joseph N. Tan (NIST)

Compact ion traps can be useful in facilitating the study and manipulation of highly charged ions isolated in a controlled environment. Various ions of interest, including bare nuclei, are produced in the NIST electron beam ion trap (EBIT), extracted through a beamline that selects a single charge/mass species, then captured in a compact permanent magnet Penning trap (J.N. Tan, S.M. Brewer, and N.D. Guise, at this meeting) or RF trap. The isolated ions are detected optically or by ejection to a fast time-of-flight microchannel plate detector. In this room-temperature apparatus, demonstrated ion storage lifetimes exceed one second for species including Ne^{10+} and Ar^{13+}, sufficiently long to measure certain metastable lifetimes via fluorescence detection (S.M. Brewer, N.D. Guise, and J.N. Tan, at this meeting) and to observe charge-exchange processes between trapped ions and residual background gas. A beam of Rydberg rubidium atoms, under development, may enable production of hydrogen-like ions in circular Rydberg states, via charge exchange with trapped bare nuclei; such one-electron ions are attractive for tests of theory and fundamental metrology (D. Jentschura et al., 2008, Phys. Rev. Lett. 100, 160404). Other applications include spectroscopic studies of trapped highly charged ions relevant to atomic physics, astrophysics, and plasmas.

Paper presented at DAMOP12, Anaheim, California, USA (08 June 2012)

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