Chow, Brendin Thomas - Technological Improvements for Linear Ion Trap Experiments...

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This thesis has been submitted to the Library for purposes of graduation, but needs to be audited for technical details related to publication in order to be approved for inclusion in the Library collection.
Summer 2017
Degree type: 
Department of Physics
Senior supervisor: 
Paul Haljan
Thesis title: 
Technological Improvements for Linear Ion Trap Experiments
Given Names: 
Brendin Thomas
Laser-cooled, trapped ions are a highly controlled experimental system that allows one to engineer novel quantum states of both fundamental and practical interest. For a string of ions in a linear radio frequency (RF) Paul trap, the linear-zigzag structural phase transition is an intriguing system to investigate quantum dynamics near the critical point of a prototype second-order phase transition, including the preparation of superposition states of different structural configurations. This thesis focuses on two technological improvements required for studying the linear-zigzag structural phase transition in the quantum regime. The first is the development of a compact and cost-effective RF synthesizer setup to provide multiple modulation sources for the laser manipulation of ion strings. The functionality and limitations of a prototype design, based on Direct Digital Synthesizer (DDS) development boards with a microcontroller interface, are evaluated and future improvements are identified. The second part of this thesis focuses on the stabilization of the secular trap frequencies in a linear Paul trap, which is necessary to obtain a stable critical point for the studies of the linear-zigzag transition. To this end, this thesis presents the implementation of a Ramsey spectroscopic technique to measure the secular frequencies and presents the preliminary results from the stability tests.
Direct Digital Synthesis; Linear RF Paul Trap; Secular Trap Frequency Stabilization
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