We saw our first signal of trapped strontium ions on August 15th. The trap lifetime was limited by background gas collisions because the plan was to bake after loading our first ions. Post bake we were able to laser cool to generate crystals of trapped ions. The image shows a chain of 17 trapped strontium ions. We are working on our electronics and control to compensate for stray electric fields to reduce excess micromotion so that we can pursue our science goals.
Everyone in the lab contributed to this effort, including significant contributions from the lab’s undergrads: Alexander James setup the 405 nm photoionization laser as well as other optics. Sam Dutt made and characterize the neutral strontium oven and Jack Roten meticulously cleaned our vacuum parts.