Publications by Derek Stacey

Background-free detection of trapped ions

Applied Physics B: Lasers and Optics 107 (2012) 1175-1180

NM Linke, DTC Allcock, DJ Szwer, CJ Ballance, TP Harty, HA Janacek, DN Stacey, AM Steane, DM Lucas

We demonstrate a Doppler cooling and detection scheme for ions with low-lying D levels which almost entirely suppresses scattered laser light background, while retaining a high fluorescence signal and efficient cooling. We cool a single ion with a laser on the 2S1/2 ?2P1/2 transition as usual, but repump via the 2P3/2 level. By filtering out light on the cooling transition and detecting only the fluorescence from the 2P3/2 → 2S1/2 decays, we suppress the scattered laser light background count rate to 1 s-1 while maintaining a signal of 29000 s-1 with moderate saturation of the cooling transition. This scheme will be particularly useful for experiments where ions are trapped in close proximity to surfaces, such as the trap electrodes in microfabricated ion traps, which leads to high background scatter from the cooling beam.

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