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Wense, Lars von der; Zhang, Chuankun (2020): Concepts for direct frequency-comb spectroscopy of Th-229m and an internal-conversion-based solid-state nuclear clock. In: European Physical Journal D, Vol. 74, No. 7, 146
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Abstract

A new concept for narrow-band direct nuclear laser spectroscopy of(229m)Th is proposed, using a single comb mode of a vacuum ultraviolet frequency comb generated from the 7th harmonic of an Yb-doped fiber laser system. In this concept more than 10(13 229)Th atoms on a surface are irradiated in parallel and a successful nuclear excitation is probed via the internal-conversion (IC) decay channel. A net scanning time of 15 min for the most recent 1 sigma energy uncertainty interval of 0.34 eV appears to be achievable when searching for the nuclear transition. In case of successful observation, the isomer's energy value would be constrained to an uncertainty of about 100 MHz, which is a factor of 10(6)of improvement compared to today's knowledge. Further, the comb mode could be stabilized to the nuclear transition using the same detection method, allowing for the development of an IC-based solid-state nuclear clock, which is shown to achieve the same performance as a crystal-lattice nuclear clock, however, with the advantage of a drastically simpler detection scheme. Finally, it is shown that the same laser system could be used to narrow down the isomer's transition energy by further six orders of magnitude during laser excitation of(229)Th(3+)ions in a Paul trap and to drive nuclear Rabi oscillations, as required for the development of a nuclear clock based on a single(229)Th(3+)ion.