Due to its high accuracy and resolution, collinear laser spectroscopy (CLS) is a powerful tool to measure nuclear ground state properties such as nuclear spins, electromagnetic moments and mean-square charge radii of short-lived radionuclides. Performing CLS with fast beams (>30 keV) provides an excellent spectral resolution approaching the natural linewidth. However, its fluorescence-light detection limits its successful application to nuclides with yields of more than several 100 to 10,000 ions/s, depending on the specific case and spectroscopic transition. To extend its reach to the most exotic nuclides with very low production yields far away from stability, more sensitive methods are needed.
For this reason, the novel Multi Ion Reflection Apparatus for CLS (MIRACLS) is currently under development at ISOLDE/CERN. This setup aims to combine the high resolution of conventional fluorescence based CLS with a high experimental sensitivity, enhanced by a factor of 30 to 700 depending on the mass and lifetime of the studied nuclide. By repetitively reflecting the ion beam between the two sets of electrostatic mirrors of a Multi-Reflection Time of Flight (MR-ToF) device, the laser beam probes the ion bunch during each revolution. Therefore, the observation time is extended and the experimental sensitivity is enhanced compared to conventional single-passage CLS.
A proof-of-principle apparatus has been constructed around an MR-ToF system, operating at ~1.5 keV beam energy, which has been upgraded for the purpose of CLS. The goal of this setup is to demonstrate the potential of the MIRACLS concept, to benchmark simulations that are employed to design a future device operating at 30 keV and to further develop the technique. This talk will introduce the MIRACLS concept and present the results of MIRACLS’ competed proof-of-principle experiment. The latter is based on work with ions of stable magnesium and calcium isotopes which allowed the systematic optimization of the MR-ToF operation for CLS.