A Computational Study Of Ion Crystals In Paul Traps
Kotana, Appala Naidu
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In this thesis we present a computational study of “ion crystals”, the interesting patterns in which ions arrange themselves in ion traps such as Paul and Penning traps. In ion crystals the ions are in equilibrium due to the balance of the repulsive forces between the ions and the overall tendency of the ion trap to pull ions towards the trap centre. We have carried out a detailed investigation of ion crystals in Paul traps by solving their equations of motion numerically. We also propose a model called the spring–mass model to explain the formation of ion crystals. This model is far more efficient than direct numerical simulation for predicting ion crystal structures. Finally, we demonstrate that there is a power law relating distance of an ion from the trap centre in ion crystals to the applied RF voltage amplitude.