For decades, this has been achieved by trapping ions with radiofrequency (rf) fields and neutral particles with optical fields. We are trapping ions by the interaction with light and electrostatic fields, in absence of any rf-fields. We take our results as starting point for studying how to combine the advantages of optical trapping and ions.
We aim to
demonstrate the prospects of our approach in the context of interaction and
reaction at ultra-low temperatures as a showcase. Following the seminal work in
the groups of Vuletic, Koehl and Denschlag in hybrid traps, we plan to embed
optically trapped ions into quantum gases to reach lowest temperatures,
circumventing the currently inevitable excess kinetic energy in hybrid traps,
where ions are kept but also driven by rf-fields. It might permit to enter the
temperature regime where quantum effects are predicted to dominate.
I will report about our recent results on optically trapping 138Ba+ in a bi-chromatic far-off-resonant dipole trap sufficiently isolated and providing lifetimes of seconds. In addition, I aim to discuss the prospects for Coulomb Crystals within optical traps.