Sympathetic ground-state cooling and coherent manipulation with two-ion crystals
We have cooled a two-ion crystal to the ground-state of its collective modes of motion. Laser cooling, more specifically resolved sideband cooling, is performed sympathetically by illuminating only one of the two 40 Ca + ions in the crystal. The heating rates of the motional modes of the crystal in our linear trap have been measured, and we found them considerably smaller than those previously reported by Turchette et al (2000 Phys.Rev. A 61 063418) in the case of trapped 9 Be + ions. After the ground state is prepared, coherent quantum state manipulation of the atomic population can be performed. Up to 12 Rabi oscillations are observed, showing that many coherent manipulations can be achieved. Coherent excitation of each ion individually and ground state cooling are important tools for the realization of quantum information processing in ion traps.