The activity of the team is based on the manipulation and control of ions confined in radio frequency traps by their interaction with lasers. The applications of our experiments concern the metrology of optical frequencies as well as the control of the dynamics and the equilibrium of a large cooled sample which can then be considered as a non-neutral plasma.
For this purpose, the members of the team develop several experimental setups involving traps and lasers designed in the laboratory :
-A Ti:Sa laser, built in the laboratory to exploit the ultra-narrow optical transition of calcium ions at 729 nm, is used as a local reference for an optical frequency comb that allows us to phase-lock several lasers and to compare our measurements with the frequency reference delivered by REFIMEVE
-The phase coherence between 3 lasers of very different wavelengths is exploited in a 3-photon coherent population trapping process which gives rise to a dark line referenced on a magnetic dipole transition at 1.8 THz (https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02064988)
-For our studies based on ion clouds, we have built two experiments:
TADOTI, whose main feature is to allow confinement in linear traps of different geometries is the seat of frequency metrology studies.
GiantMol aims at using a cloud of laser cooled ions to detect the passage of a charged molecule. Such a device is of interest for the detection of molecules of 1 MDa or more, such as proteins or viruses, for which there is no non-destructive alternative operating at room temperature (MDa= megaDalton or one million atomic masses) (https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03133670).