Wavelength-scale imaging of trapped ions using a phase Fresnel lens

Opt Lett. 2011 Apr 15;36(8):1371-3. doi: 10.1364/OL.36.001371.


A microfabricated phase Fresnel lens was used to image ytterbium ions trapped in a radio frequency Paul trap. The ions were laser cooled close to the Doppler limit on the 369.5 nm transition, reducing the ion motion so that each ion formed a near point source. By detecting the ion fluorescence on the same transition, near-diffraction-limited imaging with spot sizes of below 440 nm (FWHM) was achieved. To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of wavelength-scale imaging of trapped ions and the highest imaging resolution ever achieved with atoms in free space.