Light desorption from an yttrium neutralizer for Rb and Fr magneto-optical trap loading

V. Coppolaro, N. Papi, A. Khanbekyan, C. Marinelli, E. Mariotti, L. Marmugi, L. Moi, L. Corradi, A. Dainelli, H. Arikawa, T. Ishikawa, Y. Sakemi, R. Calabrese, G. Mazzocca, L. Tomassetti, L. Ricci

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10 Citations (Scopus)


We present here the first evidence of photodesorption induced by low-intensity non-resonant light from an yttrium thin foil, which works as a neutralizer for Rb and Fr ions beam. Neutral atoms are suddenly ejected from the metal surface in a pulsed regime upon illumination with a broadband flash light and then released in the free volume of a pyrex cells. Here atoms are captured by a Magneto-Optical Trap (MOT), which is effectively loaded by the photodesorption. Loading times of the order of the flash rise time are measured. Desorption is also obtained in the continuous regime, by exploiting CW visible illumination of the metallic neutralizer surface. We demonstrate that at lower CW light intensities vacuum conditions are not perturbed by the photodesorption and hence the MOT dynamics remains unaffected, while the trap population increases thanks to the incoming desorbed atoms flux. Even with the Y foil at room temperature and hence with no trapped atoms, upon visible illumination, the number of trapped atoms reaches 105. The experimental data are then analyzed by means of an analytical rate equation model, which allows the analysis of this phenomenon and its dynamics and allows the determination of critical experimental parameters and the test of the procedure in the framework of radioactive Francium trapping. In this view, together with an extensive investigation of the phenomenon with 85Rb, the first demonstration of the photodesorption-aided loading of a 210Fr MOT is shown.

Original languageEnglish
Article number134201
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Oct 7

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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