This was a presentation about my efforts to build a new cryogenic ion trap that will be connected to a Zeeman decelerator. It was presented at the 2017 meeting of the Southern Universities Spectroscopy and Dynamics Group (SUSDG).
Our goal is to measure rates of reactions between free-radical species and ionic species over wide temperature ranges (from above 300 Kelvin to below 1 Kelvin). To make these measurements, we are constructing an instrument which consists of a “Zeeman decelerator” for producing the free-radical species with variable kinetic energies (and hence variable temperatures), and a laser-cooled ion trap for producing the cold target ionic species for reaction. Molecular ions will be sympathetically cooled in a Coulomb crystal consisting of laser-cooled atomic ions. Rovibrational levels of the ions will be quenched in collisions with helium buffer gas cooled down to < 10 K. Interaction energy of the decelerated radicals with the ions will be in the order of magnitude 1–10 eV.
While the cryogenic trap is still in development, the Zeeman decelerator has already been tested. We will present technical details of both.