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-state quenching with CH4
for buffer-gas cooled 171
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We report that methane, CH4, can be used as an efficient F-state quenching gas for trapped ytterbium ions. The quenching rate coefficient is measured to be (2.8 ± 0.3) × 106 s−1 Torr−1. For applications that use microwave
hyperfine transitions of the ground-state
171Y b ions, the CH4 induced frequency shift coefficient and the decoherence rate coefficient are measured as δν/ν = (−3.6 ± 0.1) × 10−6 Torr−1 and 1/T
2 = (1.5 ± 0.2) × 105 s−1 Torr−1. In our buffer-gas cooled 171Y b+
clock system, we find that only ≤10−8 Torr of CH4 is required under normal operating conditions to efficiently clear the F-state and maintain ≥85% of trapped ions in the ground state with insignificant pressure shift and collisional decoherence of the clock resonance.
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