Cooling molecules to their rotational ground state in DESIREE

We apply near-threshold laser photodetachment to characterize the rotational quantum level distribution of OH- ions stored in the cryogenic ion-beam storage ring DESIREE at Stockholm University. We find that the stored ions relax to a rotational temperature of 13.4±0.2 K with 94.9±0.3% of the ions in the rotational ground state. This is consistent with the storage ring temperature of 13.5±0.5 K as measured with eight silicon diodes but in contrast to all earlier studies in cryogenic traps and rings where the rotational temperatures were always much higher than those of the storage devices at their lowest temperatures. Furthermore, we actively modify the rotational distribution through selective photodetachment to produce an OH- beam where 99.1±0.1% of approximately one million stored ions are in the J=0 rotational ground state. We measure the intrinsic lifetime of the J=1 rotational level to be 145±28  s.

Storing keV Negative Ions for an Hour in DESIREE

We use a novel electrostatic ion storage ring to measure the radiative lifetime of the upper level in the 3p5 2P01/2 → 3p52P03/2 spontaneous radiative decay in 32S- to be 503±54  sec. This is by orders of magnitude the longest lifetime ever measured in a negatively charged ion. Cryogenic cooling of the storage ring gives a residual-gas pressure of a few times 10-14 mbar at 13 K and storage of 10 keV sulfur anions for more than an hour. Our experimental results differ by 1.3σ from the only available theoretical prediction [P. Andersson et al., Phys. Rev. A 73, 032705 (2006)].

First storage of ion beams in the Double Electrostatic Ion-Ring Experiment: DESIREE

We report on the first storage of ion beams in the Double ElectroStatic Ion Ring ExpEriment, DESIREE, at Stockholm University. We have produced beams of atomic carbon anions and small carbon anion molecules (C-n, n = 1, 2, 3, 4) in a sputter ion source. The ion beams were accelerated to 10 keV kinetic energy and stored in an electrostatic ion storage ringenclosed in a vacuum chamber at 13 K. For 10 keV C−2C2−molecular anions we measure the residual-gas limited beamstorage lifetime to be 448 s ± 18 s with two independent detector systems. Using the measured storage lifetimes we estimate that the residual gas pressure is in the 10-14 mbar range. When high current ion beams are injected, the number of stored particles does not follow a single exponential decay law as would be expected for stored particles lost solely due to electron detachment in collision with the residual-gas. Instead, we observe a faster initial decay rate, which we ascribe to the effect of the space charge of the ion beam on the storage capacity.

The double electrostatic ion ring experiment: A unique cryogenic electrostatic storage ring for merged ion-beams studies

We describe the design of a novel type of storage device currently under construction at Stockholm University, Sweden, using purely electrostatic focussing and deflection elements, in which ion beams of opposite charges are confined under extreme high vacuum cryogenic conditions in separate “rings” and merged over a common straight section. The construction of this double electrostatic ion ring experiment uniquely allows for studies of interactions between cations and anions at low and well-defined internal temperatures and centre-of-mass collision energies down to about 10 K and 10 meV, respectively. Position sensitive multi-hit detector systems have been extensively tested and proven to work in cryogenic environments and these will be used to measure correlations between reaction products in, for example, electron-transfer processes. The technical advantages of using purely electrostatic ion storage devices over magnetic ones are many, but the most relevant are: electrostatic elements which are more compact and easier to construct; remanent fields, hysteresis, and eddy-currents, which are of concern in magnetic devices, are no longer relevant; and electrical fields required to control the orbit of the ions are not only much easier to create and control than the corresponding magnetic fields, they also set no upper mass limit on the ions that can be stored. These technical differences are a boon to new areas of fundamental experimental research, not only in atomic and molecular physics but also in the boundaries of these fields with chemistry and biology. For examples, studies of interactions with internally cold molecular ions will be particular useful for applications in astrophysics, while studies of solvated ionic clusters will be of relevance to aeronomy and biology.

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