Ultracold, radiative charge transfer in hybrid Yb ion – Rb atom traps

B M McLaughlin, H D L Lamb, I C Lane, J F McCann

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Ultracold hybrid ion–atom traps offer the possibility of microscopic manipulation of quantum coherences in the gas using the ion as a probe. However, inelastic processes, particularly charge transfer can be a significant process of ion loss and has been measured experimentally for the ${\rm Y}{{{\rm b}}^{+}}$ ion immersed in a Rb vapour. We use first-principles quantum chemistry codes to obtain the potential energy curves and dipole moments for the lowest-lying energy states of this complex. Calculations for the radiative decay processes cross sections and rate coefficients are presented for the total decay processes; ${\rm Y}{{{\rm b}}^{+}}(6{\rm s}{{\;}^{2}}{\rm S})+{\rm Rb}(5{\rm s}{{\;}^{2}}{\rm S})\to {\rm Yb}(6{{{\rm s}}^{2}}{{\;}^{1}}{\rm S})+{\rm R}{{{\rm b}}^{+}}(4{{{\rm p}}^{6}}{{\;}^{1}}{\rm S})+h\nu $ and ${\rm Y}{{{\rm b}}^{+}}(6{\rm s}{{\;}^{2}}{\rm S})+{\rm Rb}(5{\rm s}{{\;}^{2}}{\rm S})\to {\rm YbR}{{{\rm b}}^{+}}({{X}^{1}}{{\Sigma }^{+}})+h\nu $. Comparing the semi-classical Langevin approximation with the quantum approach, we find it provides a very good estimate of the background at higher energies. The results demonstrate that radiative decay mechanisms are important over the energy and temperature region considered. In fact, the Langevin process of ion–atom collisions dominates cold ion–atom collisions. For spin-dependent processes [1] the anisotropic magnetic dipole–dipole interaction and the second-order spin–orbit coupling can play important roles, inducing coupling between the spin and the orbital motion. They measured the spin-relaxing collision rate to be approximately five orders of magnitude higher than the charge-exchange collision rate [1]. Regarding the measured radiative charge transfer collision rate, we find that our calculation is in very good agreement with experiment and with previous calculations. Nonetheless, we find no broad resonances features that might underly a strong isotope effect. In conclusion, we find, in agreement with previous theory that the isotope anomaly observed in experiment remains an open question.
Original languageEnglish
Article number145201
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Physics B: Atomic Molecular and Optical Physics
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 04 Jul 2014


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