The excitation of the 8 eV 229mTh isomer through the electronic bridge mechanism in highly charged ions is investigated theoretically. By exploiting the rich level scheme of open 4f orbitals and the robustness of highly charged ions against photoionization, a pulsed high-intensity optical laser can be used to efficiently drive the nuclear transition by coupling it to the electronic shell. We show how to implement a promising electronic bridge scheme in an electron beam ion trap starting from a metastable electronic state. This setup would avoid the need for a tunable vacuum ultraviolet laser. Based on our theoretical predictions, determining the isomer energy with an uncertainty of 105 eV could be achieved in one day of measurement time using realistic laser parameters.

P. V. Bilous, H. Bekker, J. Berengut, B. Seiferle, L. von der Wense, P. G. Thirolf, T. Pfeifer, J. R. Crespo López-Urrutia, A. Pálffy.: Electronic bridge excitation in highly charged Th-229 ions, Phys. Rev. Lett. 124, 192502 (2020).


Related to Project B01, B02