Highresolution imaging of ultracold fermions in microscopically tailored optical potentials


Abstract. We report on the local probing and preparation of an ultracold Fermi gas on the length scale of one micrometer, i.e. of the order of the Fermi wavelength. The essential tool of our experimental setup is a pair of identical, high-resolution microscope objectives. One of the microscope objectives allows local imaging of the trapped Fermi gas of 6Li atoms with a maximum resolution of 660 nm, while the other enables the generation of arbitrary optical dipole potentials on the same length scale. Employing a 2D acousto-optical deflector, we demonstrate the formation of several trapping geometries including a tightly focussed single optical dipole trap, a 4x4-site two-dimensional optical lattice and a 8-site ring lattice configuration. Furthermore, we show the ability to load and detect a small number of atoms in these trapping potentials. A site separation of down to one micrometer in combination with the low mass of 6Li results in tunneling rates which are sufficiently large for the implementation of Hubbard-models with the designed geometries. ∗ These authors contributed equally to the presented work. † Author to whom any correspondence should be addressed. a

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