Photon-mediated charge-exchange reactions between 39K atoms and 40Ca+ ions in a hybrid trap
This work is in collaboration with Prof. Svetlana Kotochigova's group from Temple University. The article can be found at https://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlelanding/2020/cp/d0cp01131b/unauth#!divAbstract.
The charge exchange collisions between K and Ca+ is observed for the first time. The combination was never studied before theoretically as well. Svetlana’s group performed a detailed calculation to identify the electronic state entrance channels for the reaction. Our experimental and theoretical rates match well and prove that K (g) + Ca+(e) is the reaction channel. i.e., the charge exchange is mediated by photons – the cooling laser light for Ca+ ions. These measurements helped us to minimize the charge exchange rate by controlling the ion’s electronic state population. This improved the stability of the K-Ca+ mixture in the hybrid trap, a pre-requisite for our next experiments on cooling molecular ions.