Abstract

We have demonstrated that the ion current resulting from collisions between metastable krypton atoms in a magneto-optical trap can be used to precisely measure the trap loading rate. We measured both the ion current of the abundant isotope Kr83 (isotopic abundance=11%) and the single-atom counting rate of the rare isotope Kr85 (isotopic abundance1×1011), and found the two quantities to be proportional at a precision level of 0.9%. This work results in a significant improvement in using the magneto-optical trap as an analytical tool for noble-gas isotope ratio measurements, and will benefit both atomic physics studies and applications in the earth sciences.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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