Vibrational spectroscopy of HD+ with 2-ppb accuracy

J. C J Koelemeij*, B. Roth, A. Wicht, I. Ernsting, S. Schiller

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


By measurement of the frequency of a vibrational overtone transition in the molecular hydrogen ion HD+, we demonstrate the first optical spectroscopy of trapped molecular ions with submegahertz accuracy. We use a diode laser, locked to a stable frequency comb, to perform resonance-enhanced multiphoton dissociation spectroscopy on sympathetically cooled HD+ ions at 50 mK. The achieved 2-ppb relative accuracy is a factor of 150 higher than previous results for HD+, and the measured transition frequency agrees well with recent high-accuracy ab initio calculations, which include high-order quantum electrodynamic effects. We also show that our method bears potential for achieving considerably higher accuracy and may, if combined with slightly improved theoretical calculations, lead to a new and improved determination of the electron-proton mass ratio.

Original languageEnglish
Article number173002
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 26 Apr 2007


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