The group led by José Crespo López-Urrutia at MPIK in collaboration with the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt has built and successfully tested a novel trap for highly charged ions. It consists of a superconducting radio-frequency cavity made of high-purity niobium with an integrated linear Paul trap. Ions can be stored almost motionless in it at cryogenic temperatures so that highly precise spectroscopic measurements can be made on them.
A key advantage of the system, which is made entirely of superconducting material, is its perfect shielding from external electromagnetic fields that otherwise affect the accuracy of such measurements.
An ultralow-noise superconducting radiofrequency ion trap for frequency metrology with highly charged ions, J. Stark, C. Warnecke, S. Bogen, S. Chen, E. A. Dijck, S. Kühn, M. K. Rosner, A. Graf, J. Nauta, J.-H. Oelmann, L. Schmöger, M. Schwarz, D. Liebert, L. J. Spieß, S. A. King, T. Leopold, P. Micke, P. O. Schmidt, T. Pfeifer, and J. R. Crespo López-Urrutia, Rev. Sci. Instrum. 92, 083203 (2021), DOI: 10.1063/5.0046569
New superconducting radio-frequency trap keeps ions ultra-stable, Jaimee-Ian Rodriguez, August 18, 2021, DOI: 10.1063/10.0006004