A trapped-ion local field probe

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G. Huber, F. Ziesel, U.G. Poschinger, K. Singer, F. Schmidt-Kaler
Applied Physics B: Lasers and Optics 100, 725 (2010)

We introduce a measurement scheme that utilizes a single ion as a local field probe. The ion is confined in a segmented Paul trap and shuttled around to reach different probing sites. By the use of a single atom probe, it becomes possible characterizing fields with spatial resolution of a few nm within an extensive region of millimeters. We demonstrate the scheme by accurately investigating the electric fields providing the confinement for the ion. For this we present all theoretical and practical methods necessary to generate these potentials. We find sub-percent agreement between measured and calculated electric field values.