Ultracold and dense samples of ground-state molecules in lattice potentials

Nägerl, Hanns-Christoph and Mark, Manfred J and Haller, Elmar and Gustavsson, Mattias and Hart, Russell and Danzl, Johann G (2011) Ultracold and dense samples of ground-state molecules in lattice potentials. Journal of Physics Conference Series, 264. ISSN 1742-6596

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Abstract

We produce an ultracold and dense sample of rovibronic ground state Cs(2) molecules close to the regime of quantum degeneracy, in a single hyperfine level, in the presence of an optical lattice. The molecules are individually trapped, in the motional ground state of an optical lattice well, with a lifetime of 8 s. For preparation, we start with a zero-temperature atomic Mott-insulator state with optimized double-site occupancy and efficiently associate weakly-bound dimer molecules on a Feshbach resonance. Despite extremely weak Franck-Condon wavefunction overlap, the molecules are subsequently transferred with >50% efficiency to the rovibronic ground state by a stimulated four-photon process. Our results present a crucial step towards the generation of Bose-Einstein condensates of ground-state molecules and, when suitably generalized to polar heteronuclear molecules such as RbCs, the realization of dipolar many-body quantum-gas phases in periodic potentials.