Published in Review of Scientific Instruments, Volume 73, Issue 12, December 1, 2002, pages 4201-4205.
Copyright © 2002 American Institute of Physics. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Institute of Physics. The following article appeared in Review of Scientific Instruments and may be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.1518149.
NOTE: At the time of publication, the author Katharina Gillen-Christandl was not yet affiliated with Cal Poly.
We describe the design and characterization of a high resolution, high efficiency detector for two-dimensional imaging of neutral atoms. Incident atoms are surface-ionized by a tungsten-coated hot ribbon and the resulting ions are accelerated into a microchannel plate detector with a phosphor screen output. With this design we can detect individual alkali and other low ionization potential atoms and molecules with a spatial resolution of ∼ 20 μm. We find backgrounds on the order of 30 Hz over an active detection region of 20 mm2, a time response of ⩽ 1/30 s, and a detection efficiency of ∼ 50%. This detector can be used to image cold as well as thermal atomic or molecular beams.