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Table 2 Properties of potential ultracold atomic buffer gases

From: Sympathetic cooling of molecular ions with ultracold atoms

Atom IP [eV] λ [nm] IP/(hc/ λ) m [amu]
Hg 10.437504 254 2.14 201
Zn 9.3941990 214 1.62 65
Be 9.322699 235 1.77 9
Cd 8.993822 229 1.66 112
Mg 7.646235 285 1.76 24
Cr 6.76651 425 2.32 52
Yb 6.254159 399 2.01 173
Tm 6.18431 410 2.04 169
Ca 6.11315520 423 2.09 40
Er 6.1077 583 2.87 167
Ho 6.0215 410 1.99 165
Dy 5.93905 421 2.02 162
Sr 5.69486720 461 2.12 88
Li 5.391714761 671 2.92 7
Ba 5.211664 554 2.33 137
Na 5.1390767 589 2.44 23
K 4.34066354 767 2.69 39
Rb 4.177128 780 2.63 85
  1. The second column shows the energy required to ionize the atom, which is a indicative of its reactivity with candidate ions. The third column shows the lowest wavelength required for laser cooling of the atom. The shorter the wavelength the more potential there is for problem such as unwanted ionization, dissociation, or production of photoelectrons. The fourth column is the approximate number of laser cooling photons required to reach the ionization energy of the atom. The fifth column shows the mass of the atom for reference. Roughly speaking, efficient cooling is only possible for ions with a mass roughly two to three times this mass