Dynamic Optical Lattices of Subwavelength Spacing for Ultracold Atoms.

27 Mar 2018

We propose a scheme for realizing lattice potentials of subwavelength spacing for ultracold atoms. It is based on spin-dependent optical lattices with a time-periodic modulation. We show that the atomic motion is well described by the combined action of an effective, time-independent lattice of small spacing, together with a micromotion associated with the time modulation. A numerical simulation shows that an atomic gas can be adiabatically loaded into the effective lattice ground state, for time scales comparable to the ones required for adiabatic loading of standard optical lattices. We generalize our scheme to a two-dimensional geometry, leading to Bloch bands with nonzero Chern numbers. The realization of lattices of subwavelength spacing allows for the enhancement of energy scales, which could facilitate the achievement of strongly correlated (topological) states.