Field ionization of Rydberg atoms for high-brightness electron and ion beams
AbstractWe present an ionization mechanism for use in a cold atom electron source with the goal of producing highly monochromatic electron beams. We experimentally produce a map of the Stark states of Rb85 below the ionization threshold and identify states that undergo selective field ionization. The properties of an electron beam produced by field-assisted ionization of such states are quantified. A theoretical framework is established to predict the improvement to beam quality when ionization is conducted above the ionization threshold, where ionization conditions are typically more favorable than below the threshold. Calculations suggest that selective ionization of Rydberg states may offer a pathway to the production of high-brightness, highly monochromatic ion and electron beams.