RETRAP is a Penning trap that can capture the highly-charged ions extracted from EBIT for cooling and study in a different environment.

The ions in RETRAP form a strongly-coupled one-component plasma; our ultimate goal for this device is to cool the ions to low enough temperatures to see crystallization of the plasma. Though the required temperatures are low, they are much higher than would be required for lower-charge ions.

RETRAP will be used for a variety of measurements and applications, including:

We have successfully introduced up to 30 highly-charged ions (Xe[44+] and Th[68+]) from EBIT into RETRAP and trapped them for more than 20 seconds. We have observed cooling of the ions and the process of charge-exchange recombination between the ions and neutral gas atoms.