An apparatus to manipulate and identify individual Ba ions from bulk liquid Xe
We describe a system to transport and identify barium ions produced in liquid xenon, as part of R&D towards the second phase of a double beta decay experiment, nEXO. The goal is to identify the Ba ion resulting from an extremely rare nuclear decay of the isotope Xe-136, hence providing a confirmation of the occurrence of the decay. This is achieved through Resonance Ionization Spectroscopy (RIS). In the test setup described here, Ba ions can be produced in liquid xenon or vacuum and collected on a clean substrate. This substrate is then removed to an analysis chamber under vacuum, where laser-induced thermal desorption and RIS are used with time-of-flight mass spectroscopy for positive identification of the barium decay product. (C) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC.