Measurement of holmium Rydberg series through magneto-optical trap depletion spectroscopy

J. Hostetter, J. D. Pritchard, J. E. Lawler, M. Saffman

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We report measurements of the absolute excitation frequencies of Ho165 4f116sns and 4f116snd odd-parity Rydberg series. The states are detected through depletion of a magneto-optical trap via a two-photon excitation scheme. Measurements of 162 Rydberg levels in the range n=40-101 yield quantum defects well described by the Rydberg-Ritz formula. We observe a strong perturbation in the ns series around n=51 due to an unidentified interloper at 48515.47(4) cm-1. From the series convergence, we determine the first ionization potential EIP=48565.910(3) cm-1, which is three orders of magnitude more accurate than previous work. This work is an important step towards using Ho atoms for collective encoding of a quantum register.

Original languageEnglish
Article number012507
Number of pages7
JournalPhysical Review A
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jan 2015


  • magneto-optical trap
  • two-photon excitation
  • Ho atoms

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