On the adiabatic preparation of spatially-ordered Rydberg excitations of atoms in a one-dimensional optical lattice by laser frequency sweeps

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David Petrosyan, Klaus Mølmer and Michael Fleischhauer


J. Phys. B 49, 084003 (2016)

We examine the adiabatic preparation of crystalline phases of Rydberg excitations in a one-dimensional lattice gas by frequency sweep of the excitation laser, as proposed by Pohl et al (2010 Phys. Rev. Lett. 104 043002) and recently realized experimentally by Schauß et al (2015 Science 347 1455). We find that the preparation of crystals of a few Rydberg excitations in a unitary system of several tens of atoms requires exceedingly long times for the adiabatic following of the ground state of the system Hamiltonian. Using quantum stochastic (Monte Carlo) wavefunction simulations, we show that realistic decay and dephasing processes affecting the atoms during the preparation lead to a final state of the system that has only a small overlap with the target crystalline state. Yet, the final number and highly sub-Poissonian statistics of Rydberg excitations and their spatial order are little affected by the relaxations.