Ground-State Cooling of a Trapped Ion Using Long-Wavelength Radiation

S. Weidt, J. Randall, S. C. Webster, E. D. Standing, A. Rodriguez, A. E. Webb, B. Lekitsch, and W. K. Hensinger

Physical Review Letters

We demonstrate ground-state cooling of a trapped ion using radio-frequency (rf) radiation. This is a powerful tool for the implementation of quantum operations, where rf or microwave radiation instead of lasers is used for motional quantum state engineering. We measure a mean phonon number of n¯=0.13(4) after sideband cooling, corresponding to a ground-state occupation probability of 88(7)%. After preparing in the vibrational ground state, we demonstrate motional state engineering by driving Rabi oscillations between the |n=0⟩ and |n=1⟩ Fock states. We also use the ability to ground-state cool to accurately measure the motional heating rate and report a reduction by almost 2 orders of magnitude compared with our previously measured result, which we attribute to carefully eliminating sources of electrical noise in the system.

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