Dynamical crystal creation with polar molecules or Rydberg atoms in optical lattices

J. Schachenmayer, I. Lesanovsky, A. Micheli, A.J. Daley

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We investigate the dynamical formation of crystalline states with systems of polar molecules or Rydberg atoms loaded into a deep optical lattice. External fields in these systems can be used to couple the atoms or molecules between two internal states: one that is weakly interacting and one that exhibits a strong dipole-dipole interaction. By appropriate time variation of the external fields we show that it is possible to produce crystalline states of the strongly interacting states with high filling fractions chosen via the parameters of the coupling.We study the coherent dynamics of this process in one dimension (1D) using a modified form of the time-evolving block decimation (TEBD) algorithm, and obtain crystalline states for system sizes and parameters corresponding to realistic experimental configurations. For polar molecules these crystalline states will be long-lived, assisting in a characterization of the state via the measurement of correlation functions. We also show that as the coupling strength increases in the model, the crystalline order is broken. This is characterized in 1D by a change in density-density correlation functions, which decay to a constant in the crystalline regime, but show different regions of exponential and algebraic decay for larger coupling strengths.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103044
Number of pages32
JournalNew Journal of Physics
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 29 Oct 2010


  • quantum optics
  • lasers
  • Rydberg atoms
  • crystal creation

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