Date of Completion


Embargo Period


Major Advisor

Winthrop Smith

Associate Advisor

Robin Cöté

Associate Advisor

George Gibson

Field of Study



Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Campus Access


Linear Paul traps use radio frequency fields to confine ions for long times in deep potentials. The simplicity and versatility of these devices has led to their use in a wide variety of fields, from mass spectroscopy to quantum information. Within the past fifteen years, beginning with pioneering work at UConn, Paul traps have been combined with atom traps to form hybrid atom-ion traps. Hybrid traps serve as platforms for measuring ion-atom interaction rates, sympathetically cooling atomic and molecular ions, and studying the behavior of trapped ions. This work discusses simulations, analytical theory, and experiments in a hybrid trap that show a previously unknown dynamical effect in a population of trapped ions. The steady state trapped ion number in a Paul trap is non-monotonic with the loading rate of the Paul trap. This effect is universal to both Linear and 3D Paul traps and is likely to be found in other types of ion traps as well because it is the result of the Coulomb interaction in the presence of a trap. This behavior also affects the decay of ions from the trap. Understanding the loading and decay behavior from a saturated Linear Paul trap is important for the study of ion-atom interactions in a hybrid trap when the ions lack optical transitions.