Single-atom imaging of fermions in a quantum-gas microscope

Elmar Haller, James Hudson, Andrew Kelly, Dylan A. Cotta, Bruno Peaudecerf, Graham D. Bruce, Stefan Kuhr

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Single-atom-resolved detection in optical lattices using quantum-gas microscopes has enabled a new generation of experiments in the field of quantum simulation. Fluorescence imaging of individual atoms has so far been achieved for bosonic species with optical molasses cooling, whereas detection of fermionic alkaline atoms in optical lattices by this method has proven more challenging. Here we demonstrate single-site- and single-atom-resolved fluorescence imaging of fermionic potassium-40 atoms in a quantum-gas microscope setup using electromagnetically-induced-transparency cooling. We detected on average 1000 fluorescence photons from a single atom within 1.5s, while keeping it close to the vibrational ground state of the optical lattice. Our results will enable the study of strongly correlated fermionic quantum systems in optical lattices with resolution at the single-atom level, and give access to observables such as the local entropy distribution and individual defects in fermionic Mott insulators or anti-ferromagnetically ordered phases.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)738-742
JournalNature Physics
Issue number9
Early online date13 Jul 2015
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2015


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