Dark times in the resonance fluorescence of trapped 171Yb ions caused by spontaneous quantum jumps to the 2D3/2 (F=2) state
Laboratory 4.41, Physikalisch-Technische Bendesanstalt,
Postfach 3345, D-38023
Accepted: 18 December 1995
The paper reports experimental investigations on ions confined in a radiofrequency Paul trap. Single ions are cooled and optically detected by laser excitation of the cycling hyperfine component of the - resonance transition. The metastable level which is rapidly populated by decay from the level is depleted by a second laser source. The resonance fluorescence signal exhibits dark periods due to a small rate of spontaneous transitions to the level which is coupled only weakly to the laser-cooling excitation cycle. Prospects for an optical frequency standard based on excitation of the narrow - transition of at a wavelength of 435 nm are discussed.
PACS: 32.80.Pj – Optical cooling of atoms; trapping / 42.50.Lc – Quantum fluctuations, quantum noise, and quantum jumps / 06.30.Ft – Time and frequency
© EDP Sciences, 1996