Experiments with Ion Traps

The Ion Trapping Group at the University of Granada is the first experimental group at the Department of Atomic, Molecular and Nuclear Physics. Daniel Rodríguez arrived to the University of Granada in 2009 and he joined a project with Antonio M. Lallena as PI. This year he got a Ramón y Cajal contract and in in January 2011, he started the first project from the Spanish Government as PI. By the end of 2011 he was awarded with a Starting Grant from the European Research Council. In the last years many students from different academic levels, most of them from the University of Granada, has joined the project. The Ion Trapping Group is part of the PAIDI group FQM387: Fundamental Physics and Applications.

The Ion Traps and Lasers laboratory is the only laboratory of this kind in Spain. This, together with the investment (European, national and regional), motivated the nomination of the facility as a Singular Laboratory in Advanced Technologies at UGR. We started to build the laboratory in March 2012 in the framework of the project TRAPSENSOR funded by the European Research Council. We have also got funding from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, from the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities and from the regional Government of Andalusia. The infrastructure projects have been partly funded by the University of Granada.

It is envisaged that in 2020, we can run the three experiments we have built, simultaneously: 1) Quantum mass spectrometry using a 7-tesla Penning trap and a single laser-cooled 40Ca+ ion as sensor, 2) coupling of ions stored in different radiofrequency microtraps and 3) experiments devoted to quantum simulations using a linear Paul trap. Besides this, we also intend to carry out experiments in the Penning traps beamline utilizing the amplifiers we have developed to detect the current induced by trapped ions in a Penning trap. These developments have been carried out in collaboration with a company spin-off of the UGR and with the University of Mainz. For the first time, quartz crystals are used for resonant (narrow band) detection.

We are pioneering what we have called Quantum Mass Spectrometry. We are part of the international collaborations performing experiments with the Penning-trap system SHIPTRAP at GSI-Darmstadt and MATS at the Facility for Antiprotons and Ion Research (FAIR) under construction as an upgrade of GSI. The PI is member of the scientific committee of the Spanish Network in Quantum Technologies and group leader of the working group “Tools and Infrastructure” of the European COST action on Trapped Ions: Progress in Classical and Quantum Applications.


  • M. J. Gutiérrez, J. Berrocal, J. M. Cornejo, F. Domínguez, J. J. Del Pozo, I. Arrazola, J. Bañuelos, P. Escobedo, O. Kaleja, L. Lamata, R. A. Rica, S. Schmidt, M. Block, E. Solano and D. Rodríguez.
    “The TRAPSENSOR facility: an open-ring 7 tesla Penning trap for laser-based precision experiments”
    New Journal of Physics 21, 023023 (2019)
  • S. Lohse, J. Berrocal, M. Block, S. Chenmarev, J. M. Cornejo, J. G. Ramírez, and D. Rodríguez.
    “A quartz amplifier for high-sensitivity Fourier-transform ion-cyclotron-resonance measurements with trapped ions”
    Review of Scientific Instruments 90, 063202 (2019)
  • F. Domínguez, I. Arrazola, J. Doménech, J. S. Pedernales, L. Lamata, E. Solano and D. Rodríguez.
    “A Single-Ion Reservoir as a High-Sensitive Sensor of Electric Signals”
    Scientific Reports 7, 8336 (2017)