Dipolar Quantum Gases of Erbium Atoms
In our Lab, we daily produce Bose-Einstein condensates (BEC) and degenerate Fermi gases (dFG) of strongly magnetic Er atoms, which is the last born species in the family of Bose condensed atoms.
Based on the richness of Er internal level structure, we were able to devise a very simple approach to reach quantum degeneracy with this complex species. In 2012, we produced the first Er BEC and shortly after the first dFG.
Er degenerate quantum gases have an extremely prominent dipolar character because of their large atomic magnetic moment, opening the possibility to study fascinating effect arising from the anisotropic and long-range dipole-dipole interaction.
If you want to learn more about Er, you can find more infos below and/or contact us!
Erbium offers a unique combination of desirable properties for quantum gas experiments.
- Several stable isotopes: Among the five bosonic isotopes there are three abundant ones (>15%), well suited for trapping a large number of atoms. The fermionic isotope167Er is remarkably abundant as compared to other fermionic systems. This richness in isotopes will also lead to a corresponding richness in the scattering properties, regarding the sign and magnitude of the background scattering lengths and the character of Feshbach resonances.
- Large atomic mass: Many relevant energies in the system, such as the recoil energy and the mean field energy will be reduced by the large mass of Er. As a heavy atom, erbium is expected to show very rich interactions properties. The collisional physics will be, for instance, enriched by strong spin-orbit contributions and a large orbital angular momentum (L=5) in the ground state, which provides a scenario never considered in ultracold collisional physics.
- Strong magnetic character: Between the laser-cooled species, erbium has one of the strongest magnetic moment with µ = 7µB. Simple arguments, based on large Zeeman shifts and strong spin-orbit interactions, let us expect the appearance of many Feshbach resonances in a relatively narrow magnetic field range. The large magnetic moment in combination with the large mass leads to a particularly strong dipolar character.
A full list of Er publications can be found here