Rydberg excitation dynamics and correlations in arbitrary 2D arrays of single atoms

Henning Labuhn 1
1 Laboratoire Charles Fabry / Optique Quantique
LCF - Laboratoire Charles Fabry
Abstract : In this thesis, we measure the coherent dynamics and the pair correlations of Rydberg excitations in two-dimensional arrays of single atoms.We use a spatial light modulator to shape the spatial phase of a single optical dipole trap beam before focusing it with a high numerical-aperture aspheric lens. By imprinting an appropriate phase pattern on the trap beam, we can create arbitrarily shaped and easily reconfigurable 2D arrays of high-quality single-atom traps, with trap-spacings of a few micrometers for up to 100 traps. The traps are loaded from a cloud of cold 87Rb atoms, and due to fast light-assisted collisions of atoms inside the traps, at most one atom can be present in each trap at the same time. A sensitive CCD camera allows the real-time, site-resolved imaging of the atomic fluorescence from the traps, enabling us to detect the presence of an atom in each individual trap with almost perfect accuracy.In order to induce strong, tunable interactions between the atoms in the array, we coherently laser-excite them to Rydberg states, which are electronic states with a high principal quantum number.An additional addressing beam allows the individual manipulation of an atom at a selected site in the array.The precise knowledge of both the prepared atom array and the positions of the Rydberg excitations allowed us to measure the collective enhancement of the optical coupling strength in the regime of full Rydberg blockade, where one single excitation is shared symmetrically among all atoms in the array.In the regime where the strong interaction only extends over a few sites, we measured the dynamics and the spatial pair-correlations of Rydberg excitations, in one- and two-dimensional atom arrays. The comparison to a numerical simulation of a quantum Ising model of a spin-1/2 system shows an exceptional agreement for trap geometries where the effect of the anisotropy of the Rydberg-Rydberg interaction is small. The obtained results demonstrate that single Rydberg atoms are a suitable platform for the quantum simulation of spin systems.
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Henning Labuhn. Rydberg excitation dynamics and correlations in arbitrary 2D arrays of single atoms. Optics [physics.optics]. Université Paris-Saclay, 2016. English. ⟨NNT : 2016SACLO002⟩. ⟨tel-01346557⟩

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