Photon-mediated charge-exchange reactions between 39K atoms and 40Ca+ ions in a hybrid trap

March 12, 2020


This work is in collaboration with Prof. Svetlana Kotochigova's group from Temple University. The article can be found at!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.