As relative systematic frequency uncertainties in trapped-ion spectroscopy are approaching the low 1018 range, motional frequency shifts account for a considerable fraction of the uncertainty budget. Micromotion, a driven motion fundamentally connected to the principle of the Paul trap, is a particular concern in these systems. In this article, we experimentally investigate at this level three common methods for minimizing and determining the micromotion amplitude. We develop a generalized model for a quantitative application of the photon-correlation technique, which is applicable in the commonly encountered regime where the transition linewidth is comparable to the rf drive frequency. We show that a fractional frequency uncertainty due to the 2nd-order Doppler shift below |Δν/ν|=1×1020 can be achieved. The quantitative evaluation is verified in an interleaved measurement with the conceptually simpler resolved sideband method. If not performed deep within the Lamb-Dicke regime, a temperature-dependent offset at the level of 1019 is observed in resolved sideband measurements due to sampling of intrinsic micromotion. By direct comparison with photon-correlation measurements, we show that the simple to implement parametric heating method is sensitive to micromotion at the level of |Δν/ν|=1×1020 as well.

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