Two-body interactions and decay of three-level Rydberg-dressed atoms

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S. Helmrich, A. Arias, N. Pehoviak and S. Whitlock


Journal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics 49, 03LT02 (2016)

We theoretically analyze the interactions and decay rates for atoms dressed by multiple laser fields to strongly interacting Rydberg states using a quantum master equation approach. In this framework a comparison of two-level and three-level Rydberg-dressing schemes is presented. We identify a resonant enhancement of the three-level dressed interaction strength which originates from cooperative multiphoton couplings as well as small distance dependent decay rates. In this regime the soft-core shape of the potential is independent of the sign of the bare Rydberg–Rydberg interaction, while its sign can be repulsive or attractive depending on the intermediate state detuning. As a consequence, near-resonant Rydberg dressing in three-level atomic systems may enable the realization of laser driven quantum fluids with long-range and anisotropic interactions and with controllable dissipation.