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arXiv:1712.02335 [physics.atom-ph]AbstractReferencesReviewsResources

Optical clocks based on linear ion chains with high stability and accuracy

J. Keller, D. Kalincev, T. Burgermeister, A. Kulosa, A. Didier, T. Nordmann, J. Kiethe, T. E. Mehlstäubler

Published 2017-12-06Version 1

Trapped-ion optical clocks are capable of achieving systematic fractional frequency uncertainties of $10^{-18}$ and possibly below. However, the stability of current ion clocks is fundamentally limited by the weak signal of single-ion interrogation. We present an operational, versatile platform for extending clock spectroscopy to arrays of Coulomb crystals consisting of several tens of ions, while allowing systematic shifts as low as $10^{-19}$. The concept is applicable to all clock transitions with low differential electric quadrupole moments. We observe 3D excess micromotion amplitudes of all individual ions inside a Coulomb crystal with nm resolution and prove that the related frequency shifts can be controlled simultaneously at the $10^{-19}$ level. Using this method, we demonstrate regions of $400$ $\mu$m and $2$ mm length in our trap array with time dilation shifts due to micromotion close to $1\times10^{-19}$ and below $10^{-18}$, respectively. Further measurements of the trapping environment and cooling dynamics calculations for mixed In${}^+$ / Yb${}^+$ crystals show that achievable clock uncertainties due to multi-ion operation in our setup are below $1\times10^{-19}$. This work will enable clock operation with multiple ions and open up the possibility of new interrogation schemes which allow optical clock stabilities beyond classical limits.

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