Recent Papers
2020-03-25
2020-03-25

Electro-Optical Ion Trap for Experiments with Atom-Ion Quantum Hybrid Systems

Applied Sciences 10, 2222 (2020)

In the development of atomic, molecular, and optical (AMO) physics, atom-ion hybrid systems are characterized by the presence of a new tool in the experimental AMO toolbox: atom-ion interactions. One of the main limitations in state-of-the-art atom-ion experiments is represented by the micromotion component of the ions’ dynamics in a Paul trap, as the presence of micromotion in atom-ion collisions results in a heating mechanism that prevents atom-ion mixtures from undergoing a coherent evolution. Here, we report the design and the simulation of a novel ion trapping setup especially conceived of for integration with an ultracold atoms experiment. The ion confinement is realized by using an electro-optical trap based on the combination of an optical and an electrostatic field, so that no micromotion component will be present in the ions’ dynamics. The confining optical field is generated by a deep optical lattice created at the crossing of a bow-tie cavity, while a static electric quadrupole ensures the ions’ confinement in the plane orthogonal to the optical lattice. The setup is also equipped with a Paul trap for cooling the ions produced by photoionization of a hot atomic beam, and the design of the two ion traps facilitates the swapping of the ions from the Paul trap to the electro-optical trap.

2019-12-14
2019-12-14

Prospects for single photon sideband cooling in fermionic Lithium

arXiv:1912.08104

We present an analytic and numerical study for realizing single photon sideband cooling in an ultracold sample of fermionic Lithium trapped in a periodic optical potential. We develop an analytical model and obtain a master equation for the bound level populations. The cooling sequence is simulated both with a laser at a fixed frequency and with a frequency sweep. Finally, a Monte Carlo simulation is performed taking into account the full hyperfine spectrum of 6Li. We find that a gas of 6Li atoms loaded from a Magneto-Optical trap into a deep optical lattice can be cooled down to a 99% occupancy of the lattice ground state after a 5mm single photon sideband cooling using the D1 line of Li.

2019-02-11
2019-02-11

A compact radiofrequency drive based on interdependent resonant circuits for precise control of ion traps

Review of Scientific Instruments 90, 023201 (2019)

Paul traps are widely used to confine electrically charged particles like atomic and molecular ions by using an intense radiofrequency (RF) field, typically obtained by a voltage drop on capacitative electrodes placed in vacuum. We present a RF drive realized on a compact printed circuit board and providing a high-voltage RF signal to a quadrupole Paul trap. The circuit is formed by using four interdependent resonant circuits — each of which is connected to an electrode of a Paul trap — fed by low-noise amplifiers, leading to an output voltage of peak-to-peak amplitude up to 200 V at 3.23 MHz. The presence of a single resonant circuit for each electrode ensures a strong control on the voltage drop on each electrode, e.g., by applying a DC field through a bias tee. Additionally, the moderate quality factor Q = 67 of the resonant circuits ensures a fast operation of the drive, which can be turned on and off in less than 10 μs. Finally, the RF lines are equipped with pickups that sample the RF in phase and amplitude, thus providing a signal that can be used to actively control the voltage drop at the trap’s electrodes.

2018-11-21
2018-11-21

A scalable hardware and software control apparatus for experiments with hybrid quantum systems

Review of Scientific Instruments 89, 113116 (2018)

Modern experiments with fundamental quantum systems — like ultracold atoms, trapped ions, and single photons — are managed by a control system formed by a number of input/output electronic channels governed by a computer. In hybrid quantum systems, where two or more quantum systems are combined and made to interact, establishing an efficient control system is particularly challenging due to the higher complexity, especially when each single quantum system is characterized by a different time scale. Here we present a new control apparatus specifically designed to efficiently manage hybrid quantum systems. The apparatus is formed by a network of fast communicating Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs), the action of which is administrated by a software. Both hardware and software share the same tree-like structure, which ensures a full scalability of the control apparatus. In the hardware, a master board acts on a number of slave boards, each of which is equipped with an FPGA that locally drives analog and digital input/output channels and radiofrequency outputs up to 400 MHz. The software is designed to be a general platform for managing both commercial and home-made instruments in a user-friendly and intuitive graphical user interface. The architecture ensures that complex control protocols can be carried out, such as performing of concurrent commands loops by acting on different channels, the generation of multi-variable error functions, and the implementation of self-optimization procedures. Although designed for managing experiments with hybrid quantum systems, in particular with atom-ion mixtures, this control apparatus can in principle be used in any experiment in atomic, molecular, and optical physics.

Past Projects (Selection)
2015-12-21
2015-12-21

Strongly Interacting Gas of Two-Electron Fermions at an Orbital Feshbach Resonance

Physical Review Letters 115, 265301 (2015)

We report on the experimental observation of a strongly interacting gas of ultracold two-electron fermions with an orbital degree of freedom and magnetically tunable interactions. This realization has been enabled by the demonstration of a novel kind of Feshbach resonance occurring in the scattering of two 173Yb atoms in different nuclear and electronic states. The strongly interacting regime at resonance is evidenced by the observation of anisotropic hydrodynamic expansion of the two-orbital Fermi gas. These results pave the way towards the realization of new quantum states of matter with strongly correlated fermions with an orbital degree of freedom.

2015-09-25
2015-09-25

Observation of chiral edge states with neutral fermions in synthetic Hall ribbons

Science 349, 1510 (2015)

Chiral edge states are a hallmark of quantum Hall physics. In electronic systems, they appear as a macroscopic consequence of the cyclotron orbits induced by a magnetic field, which are naturally truncated at the physical boundary of the sample. Here we report on the experimental realization of chiral edge states in a ribbon geometry with an ultracold gas of neutral fermions subjected to an artificial gauge field. By imaging individual sites along a synthetic dimension, encoded in the nuclear spin of the atoms, we detect the existence of the edge states and observe the edge-cyclotron orbits induced during quench dynamics. The realization of fermionic chiral edge states opens the door for edge state interferometry and the study of non-Abelian anyons in atomic systems.

2014-09-15
2014-09-15

Direct Observation of Coherent Interorbital Spin-Exchange Dynamics

Physical Review Letters 113, 120402 (2014)

We report on the first direct observation of fast spin-exchange coherent oscillations between different long-lived electronic orbitals of ultracold 173Yb fermions. We measure, in a model-independent way, the strength of the exchange interaction driving this coherent process. This observation allows us to retrieve important information on the interorbital collisional properties of 173Yb atoms and paves the way to novel quantum simulations of paradigmatic models of two-orbital quantum magnetism.

2014-02-02
2014-02-02

A one-dimensional liquid of fermions with tunable spin

Nature Physics 10, 198 (2014)

Correlations in systems with spin degree of freedom are at the heart of fundamental phenomena, ranging from magnetism to superconductivity. The effects of correlations depend strongly on dimensionality, a striking example being one-dimensional (1D) electronic systems, extensively studied theoretically over the past fifty years1,2,3,4,5,6,7. However, the experimental investigation of the role of spin multiplicity in 1D fermions—and especially for more than two spin components—is still lacking. Here we report on the realization of 1D, strongly correlated liquids of ultracold fermions interacting repulsively within SU(N) symmetry, with a tunable number N of spin components. We observe that static and dynamic properties of the system deviate from those of ideal fermions and, for N > 2, from those of a spin-1/2 Luttinger liquid. In the large-N limit, the system exhibits properties of a bosonic spinless liquid. Our results provide a testing ground for many-body theories and may lead to the observation of fundamental 1D effects8.

2013-04-19
2013-04-19

Decoherence of a Single-Ion Qubit Immersed in a Spin-Polarized Atomic Bath

Physical Review Letters 110, 160402 (2013)

We report on the immersion of a spin qubit encoded in a single trapped ion into a spin-polarized neutral atom environment, which possesses both continuous (motional) and discrete (spin) degrees of freedom. The environment offers the possibility of a precise microscopic description, which allows us to understand dynamics and decoherence from first principles. We observe the spin dynamics of the qubit and measure the decoherence times (T1 and T2), which are determined by the spin-exchange interaction as well as by an unexpectedly strong spin-nonconserving coupling mechanism.

2012-07-22
2012-07-22

Controlling chemical reactions of a single particle

Nature Physics 8, 649 (2012)

Traditionally, chemical reactions have been investigated by tuning thermodynamic parameters, such as temperature or pressure. More recently, laser1 or magnetic field2 control methods have emerged to provide new experimental possibilities, in particular in the realm of cold collisions. The control of reaction pathways is also a critical component to implement molecular quantum information processing3. For these studies, single particles provide a clean and well-controlled experimental system. Here, we report on the experimental tuning of the exchange reaction rates of a single trapped ion with ultracold neutral atoms by exerting control over both their quantum states. We observe the influence of the hyperfine interaction on chemical reaction rates and branching ratios, and monitor the kinematics of the reaction products. These investigations advance chemistry with single trapped particles towards achieving quantum-limited control of chemical reactions and indicate limits for buffer-gas cooling of single-ion clocks.

2010-09-23
2010-09-23

Cold Heteronuclear Atom-Ion Collisions

Physical Review Letters 105, 133201 (2010)

We study cold heteronuclear atom-ion collisions by immersing a trapped single ion into an ultracold atomic cloud. Using ultracold atoms as reaction targets, our measurement is sensitive to elastic collisions with extremely small energy transfer. The observed energy-dependent elastic atom-ion scattering rate deviates significantly from the prediction of Langevin but is in full agreement with the quantum mechanical cross section. Additionally, we characterize inelastic collisions leading to chemical reactions at the single particle level and measure the energy-dependent reaction rate constants. The reaction products are identified by in-trap mass spectrometry, revealing the branching ratio between radiative and nonradiative charge exchange processes.

2010-03-18
2010-03-18

A trapped single ion inside a Bose–Einstein condensate

Nature 464, 388 (2010)

Improved control of the motional and internal quantum states of ultracold neutral atoms and ions has opened intriguing possibilities for quantum simulation and quantum computation. Many-body effects have been explored with hundreds of thousands of quantum-degenerate neutral atoms1, and coherent light–matter interfaces have been built2,3. Systems of single or a few trapped ions have been used to demonstrate universal quantum computing algorithms4 and to search for variations of fundamental constants in precision atomic clocks5. Until now, atomic quantum gases and single trapped ions have been treated separately in experiments. Here we investigate whether they can be advantageously combined into one hybrid system, by exploring the immersion of a single trapped ion into a Bose–Einstein condensate of neutral atoms. We demonstrate independent control over the two components of the hybrid system, study the fundamental interaction processes and observe sympathetic cooling of the single ion by the condensate. Our experiment calls for further research into the possibility of using this technique for the continuous cooling of quantum computers6. We also anticipate that it will lead to explorations of entanglement in hybrid quantum systems and to fundamental studies of the decoherence of a single, locally controlled impurity particle coupled to a quantum environment7,8.

2009-10-08
2009-10-08

Quantum Transport through a Tonks-Girardeau Gas

Physical Review Letters 103, 150601 (2009)

We investigate the propagation of spin impurity atoms through a strongly interacting one-dimensional Bose gas. The initially well localized impurities are accelerated by a constant force, very much analogous to electrons subject to a bias voltage, and propagate as a one-dimensional impurity spin wave packet. We follow the motion of the impurities in situ and characterize the interaction induced dynamics. We observe a very complex nonequilibrium dynamics, including the emergence of large density fluctuations in the remaining Bose gas, and multiple scattering events leading to dissipation of the impurity’s motion.

2008-02-01
2008-02-01

Observation of Photon-Assisted Tunneling in Optical Lattices

Physical Review Letters 100, 040404 (2008)

We have observed tunneling suppression and photon-assisted tunneling of Bose-Einstein condensates in an optical lattice subjected to a constant force plus a sinusoidal shaking. For a sufficiently large constant force, the ground energy levels of the lattice are shifted out of resonance and tunneling is suppressed; when the shaking is switched on, the levels are coupled by low-frequency photons and tunneling resumes. Our results agree well with theoretical predictions and demonstrate the usefulness of optical lattices for studying solid-state phenomena.

2007-11-27
2007-11-27

Dynamical Control of Matter-Wave Tunneling in Periodic Potentials

Physical Review Letters 99, 220403 (2007)

We report on measurements of dynamical suppression of interwell tunneling of a Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC) in a strongly driven optical lattice. The strong driving is a sinusoidal shaking of the lattice corresponding to a time-varying linear potential, and the tunneling is measured by letting the BEC freely expand in the lattice. The measured tunneling rate is reduced and, for certain values of the shaking parameter, completely suppressed. Our results are in excellent agreement with theoretical predictions. Furthermore, we have verified that, in general, the strong shaking does not destroy the phase coherence of the BEC, opening up the possibility of realizing quantum phase transitions by using the shaking strength as the control parameter.

2007-03-23
2007-03-23

Resonantly Enhanced Tunneling of Bose-Einstein Condensates in Periodic Potentials

Physical Review Letters 98, 120403 (2007)

We report on measurements of resonantly enhanced tunneling of Bose-Einstein condensates loaded into an optical lattice. By controlling the initial conditions of our system we were able to observe resonant tunneling in the ground and the first two excited states of the lattice wells. We also investigated the effect of the intrinsic nonlinearity of the condensate on the tunneling resonances.

2004-01-30
2004-01-30

Teleportation Scheme Implementing the Universal Optimal Quantum Cloning Machine and the Universal NOT Gate

Physical Review Letters 92, 047901 (2004)

By a significant modification of the standard protocol of quantum state teleportation, two processes “forbidden” by quantum mechanics in their exact form, the universal NOT gate and the universal optimal quantum cloning machine, have been implemented contextually and optimally by a fully linear method. In particular, the first experimental demonstration of the tele-UNOT gate, a novel quantum information protocol, has been reported. The experimental results are found in full agreement with theory.

2002-10-24
2002-10-24

Experimental realization of the quantum universal NOT gate

Nature 419, 815 (2002)

In classical computation, a ‘bit’ of information can be flipped (that is, changed in value from zero to one and vice versa) using a logical NOT gate; but the quantum analogue of this process is much more complicated. A quantum bit (qubit) can exist simultaneously in a superposition of two logical states with complex amplitudes, and it is impossible1,2,3 to find a universal transformation that would flip the original superposed state into a perpendicular state for all values of the amplitudes. But although perfect flipping of a qubit prepared in an arbitrary state (a universal NOT operation) is prohibited by the rules of quantum mechanics, there exists an optimal approximation2 to this procedure. Here we report the experimental realization of a universal quantum machine4 that performs the best possible approximation to the universal NOT transformation. The system adopted was an optical parametric amplifier of entangled photon states, which also enabled us to investigate universal quantum cloning.

In the Popular Press
2016-01-06
2016-01-06

Aggiungo la quarta dimensione e il pc quantistico è più vicino

La Stampa, TuttoScienze
2015-11-01
2015-11-01

Atomic physics for technologies of the future

Platinum (Sole 24 Ore)
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