Coherent optical nano-tweezers for ultra-cold atoms

TitleCoherent optical nano-tweezers for ultra-cold atoms
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsBienias, P, Subhankar, S, Wang, Y, Tsui, T-C, Jendrzejewski, F, Tiecke, T, Juzeliūnas, G, Jiang, L, Rolston, SL, Porto, JV, Gorshkov, AV

There has been a recent surge of interest and progress in creating subwavelength free-space optical potentials for ultra-cold atoms. A key open question is whether geometric potentials, which are repulsive and ubiquitous in the creation of subwavelength free-space potentials, forbid the creation of narrow traps with long lifetimes. Here, we show that it is possible to create such traps. We propose two schemes for realizing subwavelength traps and demonstrate their superiority over existing proposals. We analyze the lifetime of atoms in such traps and show that long-lived bound states are possible. This work opens a new frontier for the subwavelength control and manipulation of ultracold matter, with applications in quantum chemistry and quantum simulation.