Development and characterization of a transportable aluminum ion quantum logic optical clock setup

verfasst von
Stephan Hannig
betreut von
Piet Oliver Schmidt

At the time of writing, state of the art stationary optical clocks reach 10 −18 sys- tematic fractional frequency uncertainty, which allows for the search of new physics beyond the standard model and lays the foundation for new applications such as chronometric leveling, where height differences relative to the geoid are derived from frequency comparisons among optical clocks. Transportable optical clocks allow for chronometric leveling between distant lo- cations which are not connected by a direct line of sight but via length stabilized optical fiber. Moreover, they facilitate frequency comparisons between distant sta- tionary clocks via subsequent side-by-side comparisons without the necessity of a long-range fiber connection. A transportable optical clock employing a single 40Ca+ ion has been reported and a neutral atom 87Sr lattice clock has been employed in a chronometric leveling campaign. However, these clocks report an estimated systematic fractional frequency uncertainty in the high 10^−17 range, which limits their height resolution to a level of approximately 1 m. 27Al+ has one of the smallest blackbody radiation shifts, small linear and quadratic Zeeman shifts and a negligible quadrupole shift, which makes it a candidate for a highly accurate optical clock. This thesis reports on the development, set-up, and characterization of a transportable 27Al+ clock setup with 40Ca+ as logic ion. The setup is simple, modular, compact, and mechanically stable. Ions of both species are generated via pulsed laser ablation and subsequent photoionization. They are confined in a multi-layer trap with segmented loading and experiment zones. Using a single 40Ca+ ion as probe, heating rates of below 10 quanta per second have been measured in all three directions for trap frequencies around 2π × 2 MHz, and pulsed sideband cooling to mean motional quantum numbers below 0.1 quanta was demonstrated. Imaging close to the diffraction limit with a signal to noise ratio of 800 for 300 ms exposure time on a sCMOS camera was achieved using a single NA = 0.51 biaspheric lens. Simultaneously, a state discrimination error below 10^−5 in 100 µs was obtained using a PMT. From the excess micromotion second order Doppler shift, secular motion second order Doppler shift, BBR shift, and background gas collision shift, a partial systematic fractional frequency uncertainty of 1.7 × 10^−18 was inferred, which is equivalent to a height resolution of ca. 2 cm. Moreover, a highly stable mechanical monolithic enhancement cavity for SHG has been developed and demonstrated to withstand accelerations of 3 g rms for 30 min. It has been operated for an uninterrupted period of 130 h without decay in output power in the mid-UV due to O2 -purging, its sealed design, and material selection, which solves the often observed crystal degradation in UV applications. The cavity has been employed in the 27Al+ logic laser system. In conclusion, it has been shown that an 27Al+ ion quantum logic optical clock operated in the present transportable setup could reach an estimated systematic fractional frequency uncertainty of 1.7 × 10^−18 , provided that all other shifts, such as the second order Zeeman shift, are negligible. This paves the way towards chronometric leveling with an unprecedented height resolution of about 2 cm.

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